for the love of words

from hamlet (that tragic avenger):
Lord Polonius: What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet: Words, words, words.
Lord Polonius: What is the matter, my lord?
Hamlet: Between who?
Lord Polonius: I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.

(Hamlet II, ii, 191-195)

words confound and obfuscate at least as often as they elucidate or decree, which is why they're fun. alphabet juice is roy blount, jr.'s new study of sorts on the quirks, quarks and quartos of the english language as we now think we know it. blount, who has penned a fair bit more bathroom reading than actual theory, here provides a case-by-case discussion of the changeling nature of many english usages. while history and evolution support the bulk of blount's pontifications, he also brazenly ponders the validity, humor, and coincidence of such phenomena as onomatopoeia and the kinesthetic nature of the sound, sight, or meaning of a given word. first chapter below.

LINK: first chapter of alphabet juice from nytimes // npr
LINK: more word dorkiness (thanks andrew)

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