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Fun for Word Hounds & Logophiles
on May 21, 2010
First. let me say: this is NOT a comprehensive dictionary. It is not meant to be. It's far more special: it's one person's collection of life-defining, life-enhancing, life-inspiring, and life-enriching words. The book is NOT some high brow, exclusive treatise on language or history either. It is, however, an inspiring, meaty, often humorous resource that is at once accessible and scholarly. It's purpose is to put new thoughts and new words into the hands and heads of anyone who wishes to explore words. The book is organized alphabetically, and the fonts are a nice, easy-to-read size. I would suggest that, due to certain word choices within the book, that readers should be at least 14 or 15 age wise. :) The books contains these parts: 1) an Introduction; 2) the word collection; 3) listing of the ten most beautiful words "based in a poll of 40,000 people in 102 countries"; 4) Sources & Recommended Reading; 5) After Tale & About the Author.
This is a delightful book for people who enjoy words and who enjoy delving into the origins and inspirations of words--ordinary and extraordinary. I enjoy Cousineau's writing style, and I have read many of his books. From his efforts, this isn't my favorite book. (My reigning favorite from this author is "The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seekers Guide to Making Travel Sacred." ) However, this is worth reading because it is indeed "An Odyssey Into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words," and it offers a satisfying slice of edutainment (educational entertainment.) For those of us who love knowledge and trivia and live with a dictionary in easy reach, Cousineau has given us a clever gift, his own treasure chest---word hoard. These are words that have captured his interest and imagination over the years. He encourages readers to build and share their own word hoards. He reminds us how rich, exciting, and diverse human language is.
To give you an idea of the content, here are just a few of the words that can be found in this book: abracadabra; accolade; athlete; baksheesh; bamboozle; bedswerver; bull; canoodle; cappuccino; clouderpuffs; cornucopia; dastardly; dude; enigma; flizzen; gnome; gynotikolobomassophile; hip; honeymoon; jazz; kibosh; mum; mythosphere; panache; red-handed; seeksorrow; xenophillia; zemblanity, and......my personal favorite from this word hoard: arachibutyrophobia, the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one's mouth. LOL
This book would be a fun thinking-of-you gift for students, teachers, writers, and word hounds.