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The Word on Words Kindle Edition

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Length: 128 pages

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Norman German is an award-winning teacher and writer who has taught vocabulary and etymology courses for over thirty years. In addition to publishing nearly 50 pop articles on various aspects of language, his essay “The Veil of Words in ‘The Minister’s Black Veil’” was singled out in 1990 as a significant contribution to Nathaniel Hawthorne scholarship. Among his four novels, the best-selling A Savage Wisdom imaginatively reconstructs the life of Toni Jo Henry, the only woman executed in Louisiana’s electric chair. Dr. German has also published articles on Ernest Hemingway, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ray Carver, James Dickey, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, and other important American writers. His short stories have been featured in leading literary magazines like Shenandoah and The Virginia Quarterly Review, as well as commercial venues, including Salt Water Sportsman and Sport Fishing. Norman has studied literature, linguistics, Latin, Greek, French, Spanish, and German at McNeese State University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is a professor of English at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Product Details

  • File Size: 8030 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: River Road Press (May 6, 2011)
  • Publication Date: May 6, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004ZS87NA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #650,465 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Dr. Norman German is an English professor at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he is the fiction editor of Louisiana Literature. His short stories about fishing, track and field, and baseball appear in literary and commercial magazines, including Shenandoah, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Sport Fishing, Gray's Sporting Journal, and Salt Water Sportsman, which also published his essay "Rehabilitating Hemingway."

Norman is married to artist Raejean Clark. They live on the Calcasieu River in Lake Charles, Louisiana, with their dog, The Pupster (see photos). In the first photo, Norman sits on a cypress stump that washed over their fence during the 7-foot storm surge of Hurricane Ike. Now, he no longer gets writer's block; he gets stumped!

Norman has three award-winning novels and is [no longer!] seeking a publisher for his baseball novel Switch-Pitchers, in which Hemingway smuggles twin Cuban pitchers to the United States for a shot at major-league fame. The novel's first chapter was published in Elysian Fields Quarterly as a short story titled "The Havana Home Run." BlueWater Press published the novel in February 2010; it has reached #26 in the Sports category on Amazon.com.

Norman's novel A Savage Wisdom, based on the life of the only woman executed in Louisiana's electric chair (for a 1940 Valentine's Day murder), has reached #5 in the competitive Amazon.com category "Murder & Mayhem."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. Fontenot on August 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Ten reasons for buying this book:
1) You are a nerd who loves words:
2) You are a writer and want to improve your vocabulary;
3) You are preparing for an aptitude or admission exam and need that extra "umpf" to boost your score;
4) You love learning trivial factoids;
5) You plan on auditioning for "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?";
6) You never know whether to use "regardless" or "irregardless";
7) You can read it aloud while taking a road trip, assuming you aren't the driver;
8) You can obtain knowledge while performing your daily constitutional;
9) You can do something constructive while killing time in the doctor's office;
10) You are taking Dr. German's etymology class.

The author has put together a playful and fascinating collection of word origins that can be read a little here and a little there with no hurry to get to the end of the book. Take your time, and enjoy learning little known facts about the English language. If you're up to the challenge, do the quizzes and crossword puzzles at the end of each chapter. Loved it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Vernon on August 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To really know anything or anyone you need to know their history, their heritage, their reputation. In slightly more than 100 pages, Dr. German creates a lasting friendship with some of the most important words you will ever read. Often with tongue in cheek, he introduces you to the miracle of language; the infinite use of finite means. You have just a glimpse of what can be done with only 26 characters. It is indeed the play of language. Great refresher. Great preparation for entrance exams. Highly recommended. Who knew vocabulary could be so much fun?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jackie Starns on September 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
The Word on Words is "the last word" in an extremely readable and entertaining book on the origin and evolution of our English language. The author packed every page with fascinating and amusing tidbits about words we use every day, and he gives us general rules that apply to the components of words that have various prefixes and suffixes. So, while you are reading a very entertaining book, you are also painlessly absorbing an enormous amount of understanding as to the how's, why's, and root meanings of our language. When you finish this book your head will be spinning with the wealth of word knowledge you have attained. Get this book for a student who doesn't like his English classes. He just might change his tune!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lisa w on July 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love the graphics and puzzles. Easy and fun to read. My husband, who has taught Latin says he would use this book in his Latin classes. A must have for teachers and students alike.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Phyliss Bounds on May 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I've been interested in word origins since nursing-school days when I took a course in biological Latin and Greek. I laughed so much that my daughter STOLE the book from me. Now I hear strings of giggles through closed doors, punctuated by howls of laughter. But it's informative, too. "Utopia" literally means "no place"--ha!, so true! The author also straightens us out on usages like jibe vs. jive, compliment vs. complement--helpful stuff for any student, high school or college. On EVERY page, I learned 10 to 15 fascinating words and word origins. Get it! If you don't laugh 5 times per page, you don't have a giggle box.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Musselwhite on June 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Word on Words" by Norman German is a treasure chest of the English language from cover to cover. The facts revealed to us in this witty, educational book are so entertaining and a lot of fun to share. Each time I open it I'm dumbfounded that I had never been taught, or had thought of on my own, very obvious origins of words that we use DAILY. I think the author's personality really comes through on the pages of this book and part of what makes this learning experience so much fun!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lacy M on June 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
I recieved this book as a gift and it is absolutely a live saver! It makes it very easy to learn the meanings of difficult SAT words... other books give only the definitions & require hours of self studying and never really helped me actually learn. I would definitely recommend this. You will feel ten times smarter after reading it!! Also it is very entertaining so you will never be bored.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Colton on March 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Some books just aren't right for an e-reader, and this is one of them. It relies heavily on charts which are too small to be readable on the kindle. As far as the content of the book, I find it somewhat smarmy and a bit demeaning: "I bet you don't know that 'Monday' refers to the moon"; well yes, in fact, I do. Just because I'm reading a book about words doesn't mean I don't have a decent vocabulary to start with. I've read about half and probably won't finish it.
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