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The World of Words

April 16th, 2012 · Marilyn · Staff Recommendations

If you are a lover of words—a lexiphile, you will find plenty of fun reading in the library. Take a look in the 420 section (the call number, in library lingo). And while you are there, you might as well see if you can find the meaning for the slang 420 (hint: it is illegal!). The 420 call number leads you to books about words and about the use of words in the English language. Many of the books are quite humorous as well as informative.

English language evolution reflects our multicultural society and the complexities of communication. Also fascinating are words that people have at one time used that tell of a way of life that no longer exists: for example, “hogwash.” There are expressions which many of us use even though we have lost track of what they really mean. Why do we “talk turkey” or “go cold turkey”? Sometimes foreign words such as “calamari” allow us to eat without thinking about what we are eating. Malapropisms, puns, oxymorons, palindromes—all good fun!

If you open a few of these books, you’ll be amazed, entertained, and you might even find yourself looking at the world a bit differently.

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