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Wordwatching: One Man's Quest for Linguistic Immortality [Paperback]

Alex Horne
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 July 2011

Alex Horne loves words. He loves them so much, in fact, that he's gone on a mental safari and invented some of his own ... all he needs to do now is get them into the dictionary.

But, as Alex discovers, gaining entry into the official lexicon takes more than just a gentle word in the ear of the editor. Evidence is required - Alex needs what the dictionary authorities call a 'corpus' of examples, hard data showing that his new words are in widespread and long-term usage by people other than just him and his mum. So a corpus he resolves to create, no matter what obstacles he might meet on the way. This is the ridiculous story of one man's struggle to break into the dictionary. From covert word-dropping on Countdown to wilfully misinforming young schoolchildren, Alex tries it all in his quest for word-based stardom. Does he succeed? Exactly what is a 'mental safari'? And are you already using one of Alex's words without realising it? You won't regret spending your hard-earned honk on this hugely entertaining book.

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Wordwatching: One Man's Quest for Linguistic Immortality + Birdwatchingwatching: One Year, Two Men, Three Rules, Ten Thousand Birds
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Virgin Books (7 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075351575X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753515754
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 445,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"This is a joyous show for word-lovers everywhere ... Horne is an engagingly smart man, a sort of Dave Gorman of the intellect. He has created a genuinely smart show. He not only entertains, amuses and impresses, but he makes you want to join in" (Scotsman, review of 'Wordwatching' Edinburgh Fringe show)

"A tautly written, charmingly delivered show ... if you're curious to take a "mental safari" and be enlightened about "pratdigging", this is almost word perfect" (Metro, review of 'Wordwatching' Edinburgh Fringe show)

"An amusing account of his quest to introduce various new words and usages into the English language" (Financial Times, review of 'Wordwatching' Edinburgh Fringe show)

"A hilarious story of a man's adventures into the world of words. Funny, if slightly "out there"." (The Sun)

"This is a hilarious tale of an ingenious plan to bamboozle the experts" (The Good Book Guide)

Book Description

Alex Horne brings us along on his epic and entertaining quest to break into the dictionary- 'A safe place to invest your comedy honk' Time Out

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun... 16 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you liike Alex Horne's humour in his music shows (with the Horne Section) then this gentle, intelligent and funny book will entertain (and inform). Alex tries to get new word meaining into the dictionaries of the world - he has some great plans...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very witty and informative 1 Nov 2013
By Louise
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Have to confess up front I'm a fan of Alex Horne and this book is just as amusing as I expected it to be after reading his first book Birdwatchingwatching. He has a lovely style in text, very much as he does in person, and while the subject matter appears to be pretty dry, he had me spluttering in public more than a few times. Funny, interesting, and well worth a read.
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