The Secret Life of the English Language: Buttering Parsnips and Twocking Chavs

Martin H Manser, David Pickering

The Secret Life of the English Language: Buttering Parsnips and Twocking Chavs

Our langauge is one of delight and curiosity. BUTTERING PARSNIPS, TWOCKING CHAVS is a guided tour of English, exploring the origins of words, their changing meaning, lexical peculiarities, word games and lost words, presented in lists, small passages of narrative text, amusing quotations and nuggets of amazing facts. This must-have compendium shows that words have a matchless power to entertain. Here you will find enough new words and phrases to last a lifetime. Idioms frolic beside cliches, catchphrases, proverbs, eponyms, acronyms, spoonerisms and split infinitives. Text messages cavort alongside business jargon and rap slang to produce a language that is both witty and bizarre, and sometimes frankly outstanding. So whether you're a yuppie or a woopie, a sinbad or dinky, a spod or even a wazzock, these pages will provide endless hours of delight and fascination. 3.0 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
The Secret Life of the English Language: Buttering Parsnips and Twocking Chavs

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Language & Linguistics, Humour
Format Paperback
Pages 272
RRP £7.99
Date of Publication September 2008
ISBN 978-0753824177
Publisher Phoenix
 

Our langauge is one of delight and curiosity. BUTTERING PARSNIPS, TWOCKING CHAVS is a guided tour of English, exploring the origins of words, their changing meaning, lexical peculiarities, word games and lost words, presented in lists, small passages of narrative text, amusing quotations and nuggets of amazing facts. This must-have compendium shows that words have a matchless power to entertain. Here you will find enough new words and phrases to last a lifetime. Idioms frolic beside cliches, catchphrases, proverbs, eponyms, acronyms, spoonerisms and split infinitives. Text messages cavort alongside business jargon and rap slang to produce a language that is both witty and bizarre, and sometimes frankly outstanding. So whether you're a yuppie or a woopie, a sinbad or dinky, a spod or even a wazzock, these pages will provide endless hours of delight and fascination.

Reviews

The Guardian

Steven Poole

...nothing secret is revealed here. Instead, it is a book of lists of funny words and facts about words, which might well be helpful to the student of English who suffers from hipomonsteresquipedalophobia (allegedly, fear of long words), or fancies lists of word frequencies, common misspellings, funny place names (hello, yeomen of Nasty), proverbs, criminal and yoof slang, computer jargon, false friends in other languages and so on.

01/09/2008

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The Independent

Christopher Hirst

We may note that its list of words with silent letters contains handkerchief and fjord but lacks depot and debris, while a page of common misspellings contains desiccate and supersede but lacks miniature and decrepit... Most entries, however, contain more enlightenment than omissions. You might have known that chortle was coined by Lewis Carroll and quark by James Joyce, but do you know that nerd comes from Dr Seuss? A list of envelope acronyms, which surely strays into jokey apocrypha with CHIP (come home, I'm pregnant), will be mystifying to the digital generation, but oldsters will be equally at sea with "emoticons", the use of keyboard symbols for abbreviated messages. If you ever receive :=) it means that you are a little Hitler.

14/11/2008

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