Sunday, July 27, 2008

Philologists "Do" Do it better



The OED, i.e., The Oxford English Dictionary has occupied, for a very good reason, a solid number three in my Top Books List.
It's not only the etymologies that I find superbly relevant to my own field or research, which as luck would have it, is also congruous with my basic hobby for, well, word origins. I've always considered philologists to be like the artists par excellence of the language business. They always have a good word up their sleeve to get things going and entertain those not so lexically inclined.

The OED also lists wonderful literary examples that come out of, say, medieval works as well as such hypermodern texts as stuff people write in the 21-st century.
In sum, the OED can never let a neophile and philology enthusiast down.
Having said that, there's a new book out which word lovers are bound to react well to.


Here's a bit of fun:

Charientism (n.) A rhetorical term to describe saying a disagreeable thing in an
agreeable way

Compotation (n.) An episode of drinking or carousing together

Constult (v.) To act stupidly together

The book is called Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages and it is by Ammon Shea. The Amazon specs are here.

And a favorite question of mine would have to be: "So, what letter are you on now?"
It's a most relevant book, as far as I'm concerned. Thanks, Ammon Shea!

(Tip of the hat to MR for the pointer)
graph per amazon

6 comments:

Dan said...

Ah-ha! I know exactly what I've been missing so far... It's Charientism! :)

Dan said...

Ah-ha! I know exactly what I've been missing so far... It's Charientism! :)

Rosa said...

I chose to constult. Yeah, that verbs kicks the trash out of basically most verbs I know. :-))

Sra said...

I like this quote from Reading the OED, page 4:

"All day long I'm plagued by the feeling that I can't quite remember a word. This is the first thought in my head every morning when I wake. It is often the last thing I think about before I fall asleep."

Sounds like a nightmare.

Mary said...

I totally get the quote Sra wrote. Ah, the obsessive joys of a word person!

liam. said...

yea! another book for me! :)