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Endangered Words: A Collection of Rare Gems for Book Lovers Paperback – July 27, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1602397125 ISBN-10: 1602397120

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (July 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602397120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602397125
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Simon Hertnon, after studying linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington, began writing about his observations on life for newspapers and magazines. He lives in New Zealand.

More About the Author

I have been writing, in one form or another, since I completed my BA in Linguistics from Victoria University of Wellington in 1989.

My greatest professional joy is to uncover simple solutions to significant problems so, as a writer, it is no surprise that I felt highly motivated to tackle the crippling issue of poor written communication skills.

The other major issue that captivates my attention is (for want of a better label) unwise human activity. At a time in history when we should be slowing down to enjoy our good fortune and to wisely plan for the future, we are instead busily just doing stuff -- creating, manipulating, consuming, wasting -- without due consideration of the effects of our actions. I think we assume that we're somehow making things better, but we're not, we're making things worse for ourselves, our children, and for future generations.

For many years I have been trying to fathom why we act so unwisely and I have distilled what I have learned into a Theory of Universal Human Needs. I know it sounds pompous, but the title is accurate and the content, at just 72 words, is anything but pompous.

And though I greatly value academic study and authorship, my theory is clearly not an academic one. But does that make it less helpful? I don't think so, but you can decide for yourself. And that's the key to my theory: accessibility -- anyone can read it and critique it, which is surely essential for a theory that is attempting to identify and understand universal human needs.

So my approach relies on brevity and natural philosophy (observation, contemplation, logic), and my simple hope is that it proves useful. I have, in any case, put a peg in the ground.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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This is an entertaining book.
JNPMLS
I bought this for the Professor~~who has an English Major!
Betty Butwell
Being a writer, I loved this little book.
Chris Kolmorgen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By JNPMLS on November 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an entertaining book. It adds a little color to learning new words. I disagree with the author's use of the word "experimentally" as a baseline comparison for determining rarity. As an engineer, I admit bias; however, my utilization of "experimentally" goes back to high school science labs. Otherwise, a good book. Note that the author does ramble a lot about his personal opinions; there is a subsection under each titled "why I like the word." I can see why some might object to it; however, it can serve as another means to remember a new word, which is, after all, the reason someone should be reading Endangered Words.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris Kolmorgen on April 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Being a writer, I loved this little book. My brother bought it for me and it's always a joy to flip through. It's become a bit of an inside joke between me and my brother to say the word "schlimbesserung" in public (Noun: A so called improvement that makes things worse).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Betty Butwell on December 21, 2009
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I bought this for the Professor~~who has an English Major! He uses some words I never heard and now I'd like to give back to him some words he "might" not have ever heard or used! He has a way with words and I love it!! He will definitely put them to use and share them all with me. What a perfect gift for the one who has most everything he wants already.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By pats1403 on February 5, 2010
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What a delight this little tome is! Far from being an imbroglio, or embroglio if you prefer, it captures the sense of and reason for continuing to use these interesting and entertaining bits of vocabulary. Words of varied origins have always enriched the English language, and this collection is no exception. The etymologies enhanced by quotations showing the words in use and the brief expository notes argue for keeping the words active. Logophile or not, readers will soon be feeling papilionaceous (like a butterfly or a sweet pea, as does this reviewer depending on the mood) from the enjoyment this book provides.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Micki H on November 23, 2011
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I love that this little book includes long lost words...not just for book lovers but excellent for collectors of words. I use it for studying the etymology of words and to create word study families. The complexity of the words lends itself to teaching kids the origin of words and studying the morphology.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Antonia on February 15, 2010
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Forget crosswords and word finds! If you find you are bored with "Ameri-Common" vernacular, this book will challange and entertain you. The author does not list as many words as I expected, but still it is a good value for the money.
If you liked spelling bees as a kid, you will appreciate this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ellyn Quinn on June 21, 2011
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I ordered the paperback version. The cover is thin and shiny. It came to me well wrapped and on time. It is fantastic if you want to improve your vocabulary. I am extremely glad that it has a pronunciation guide under the word. I recommend this book for a more older audience (not the most child friendly). In my opinion it lives up to its name.
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I loved this book because I love words. Archaic, Slang, Rap, Queens' English, American dialects - doesn't matter. Words are fun, power, essential to happiness...

So I wanted to know what precious words might be "endangered." After all, I care about endangered species, this is the same.

Some of these words, OK, deserve to be put to rest, they're awkward at best, strange, dissonant, weird would be a kind description.

But that's kind of the fun too... You don't want just useful words... You want words to confound, dissociate, discombobulate and just plain put some annoying people in their place from time to time. Especially when you write it into a book where you know it can't help but draw notice... And its alive for another day, month, year.

So, it's worth the time and the money. Plus, it was just plain, simple, calorie and alcohol free FUN!
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