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A Word a Day: A Romp Through Some of the Most Unusual and Intriguing Words in English [Paperback]

Anu Garg , Suti Garg
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 10.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

12 Nov 2002
"Anu Garg′s many readers await their A Word A Day rations hungrily. Now at last here′s a feast for them and other verbivores. Eat up!" –Barbara Wallraff Senior Editor at The Atlantic Monthly and author of Word Court Praise for A Word a Day "AWADies will be familiar with Anu Garg′s refreshing approach to words: words are fun and they have fascinating histories. The people who use them have curious stories to tell too, and this collection incorporates some of the correspondence received by the editors at the AWAD site, from advice on how to outsmart your opponent in a duel (or even a truel) to a cluster of your favorite mondegreens." –John Simpson, Chief Editor, Oxford English Dictionary "A banquet of words! Feast and be nourished!" –Richard Lederer, author of The Miracle of Language Written by the founder of the wildly popular A Word A Day Web site (www.wordsmith.org), this collection of unusual, obscure, and exotic English words will delight writers, scholars, crossword puzzlers, and word buffs of every ilk. The words are grouped in intriguing categories that range from "Portmanteaux" to "Words That Make the Spell–Checker Ineffective." each entry includes a concise definition, etymology, and usage example–and many feature fascinating and hilarious commentaries by A Word A Day subscribers and the authors.

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A Word a Day: A Romp Through Some of the Most Unusual and Intriguing Words in English + Another Word A Day: An All-New Romp Through Some of the Most Unusual and Intriguing Words in English + The Completely Superior Person's Book of Words
Price For All Three: 30.52

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (12 Nov 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471230324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471230328
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 236,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Anu Garg is the founder of Wordsmith.org, a community of nearly a million readers in some 200 countries. He grew up in rural India. He learned the English language as a second language and moved to the US to study computer science in graduate school. He worked as a software engineer at a number of corporations including AT&T Labs. Eventually he gave up his career in software for the love of words and founded Wordsmith.org to spread the magic of words.

Product Description

Review

“…Uncommon English words to enrich your vocabulary…”(India Today, 7 July 2003)

Review

"Anu and Stuti Garg’s many readers await their A Word A Day rations hungrily. Now at last here′s a feast for them and other verbivores. Eat up!" —Barbara Wallraff, senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly and authors of Word Court "AWADies will be familiar with Anu and Stuti Garg’s refreshing approach to words: words are fun and they have fascinating histories. The people who use them have curious stories to tell too, and this collection incorporates some of the correspondence received by the editors at the AWAD site, from advice on how to outsmart your opponent in a duel (or even a truel), to a cluster of your favorite mondegreens." —John Simpson, Chief Editor, Oxford English Dictionary "A banquet of words! Feast and be nourished!" —Richard Lederer, author of The Miracle of Language

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Word A Day Keeps the Dictionary Away 27 April 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have always had a fascination with where words come from and how they are formed, and this book provided me with a veritable feast of new words.
Anu Garg writes with a lovely sense of humour as well, and brings out some wonderful quotes to give examples of how the words are generally used.
If you like words, would like to add some new ones to your vocabulary and find out the background to a few of the ones that you are already familiar with, this book is a real treat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars winnie the witch 8 Dec 2011
Format:Paperback
I bought this book for a friend who likes words.I own the book myself and thought that she would enjoy it.Its a delightful book to pick up at odd moments.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting 6 Aug 2004
Format:Paperback
As fascinated as I am with all word books, I wish someone had bothered to point out it is written and published in America - ergo many words in the normal text are spelt (to we English) incorrectly! I would have preferred to buy a similar book written by an English person.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A warning about the length... 26 Jan 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The reviewers I read echo my thoughts about this book -- I liked it a lot -- but they fail to warn how short it really is. There are 55 chapters, but most are 3 pages long, generously spaced, and the third page often has half or more of it as trailing blank space so the next chapter can start a new page. You can read it cover to cover in one sitting, so it's not much bang for the buck.
Buy the book, though. The quotations alone are worth the price, and Anu deserves some return for the AWAD website that he has provided free of charge for nearly 10 years. But the book would have been a much better value if it had been twice the length, which it could easily have been, given Anu's virtuosity.
59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Word A Day is a gift of love from the Garg family 15 Nov 2002
By David Thomson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Anu Garg dreams of a "society (that) will replace guns with dictionaries." This utopian hope is unfortunately not likely to ever occur. Nonetheless, the author of this "romp through some of the most unusual and intriguing words in English" is doing his utmost to make the world a better place. Many loyal subscribers have long been receiving his free daily "Wordsmith" e-mail that serves to expand our knowledge and understanding of the English language. Garg takes us along on a journey to explore a myriad collection of words that aid us in communicating with each other. Ever wondered what one should call a group of Pheasants? What about annus mirabilis? Anu Garg will gladly tell you. He will also explain the meaning of a clochard or a massif.
The English language is constantly evolving. Those who lived in the Middle Ages would be bewildered by the common tongue of today. Our democratic culture guarantees that English will never ossify and be under the control of an elite oligarchy. We will keep on adding more words and reinterpreting some in new ways previously thought not acceptable. Thus, Anu Garg will never be able to rest knowing that his task is finished. He has a job for life. The author thankfully possesses more than sufficient talent to handle these responsibilities. Almost certainly Garg's delightful wife Stuti and their wonderful five year old daughter Ananya will continue to offer their assistance. This is a fantastic book that should definitely grace your personal bookshelf. Moreover, it also makes a splendid gift for just about any occasion.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars makes a great gift for word lovers 25 Nov 2002
By Yvonne Caruthers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm a loyal fan of AWAD, so I knew what to expect from this book and wasn't disappointed. Each chapter has several odd words, with their histories and examples of how they can be used. But for me, the best part of Anu's writing is the selection of quotes that appear at the bottom of each page in small print. Anu Garg has more fun with words than just about anyone around. You can't read him for very long without picking up his enthusiasm. I hope all AWAD readers will get a copy of this as a gift for others--spread the word!
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treat for lovers of words 30 Oct 2002
By T. Cleve Callison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Fans of the always-intriguing 'A Word a Day' email newsletter will be delighted to see this compilation by creator Anu Garg. Garg is a great and sensitive painter of the play of words in English -- their history, their quirks, their shades of meanings, even their sounds. Rarely if ever does he fall into the all-too-common trap of polemics about language deterioration that some commentators indulge in. Garg is clearly a lover of his subject and knows a great deal. Topics are presented in clever sections such as "I Didn't Know there was a Word for That!" The jacket blurb by Richard Lederer, no slouch of a writer about words himself, refers to A Word a Day as a "banquet of words." I wouldn't go that far, because my only complaint is that due to the large print and margins, I left this book hungry for more. So I hope there's a sequel.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love words, you will love this book! 2 July 2003
By Heather Buri - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is a compilation put out by Mr. Anu Garg. If you are not familiar with Mr. Garg, he keeps the "Word a Day" email list. Mr. Garg's love of words shows through his "Word a Day" list and now, this book as well. A great gift for any linguaphiles on your list.
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