07 October, 2011

Ah, how i love language.

Lost English

Chris Roberts

Bought this for Chen for her birthday and, naturally enough, read it! It is different from the other books of words which have dropped out of common use in English because the words and phrases here are very much of recent vintage and loss, rather than the more usual centuries old words. Certainly, some of the entries i’ve read here i have used within my life, indeed, some of them i’m not sure i wouldn’t still use (which may speak more to my innate conservatism than anything else!), such as “Heath Robinson”, “blotting paper”, or “pell-mell”, for example. The book is nicely written, with good language (definitely necessary in a book about language) well controlled. In fact, the only real complaint i have about it is one i have run across previously, though i’m not sure if i have expressed mine aggravation in any of these reviews: Certain publishers (for it is a publisher stupidity, not anything to do with the author) seem to get mixed up between the “1” key and the capital “I” when writing dates, so here, in a book which frequently uses dates, i was often annoyed by things like this ~ “the late I950s” or “from I972 to I985” ~ which look really idiotic. Small point, but very annoying in terms of disturbing the flow of reading.

Curiously, just as i post this, i have read a review of this book on Library Thing (or Librarything ~ i refuse to follow the ridiculous trend of putting capital letters in the middle of words), and the person who wrote it was rather less appreciative of the book than i. And they claim to be an English expert. I'm a little disappointed ~ in myself or them? Not sure!

1 comment:

Stephanie Rae Pazicni said...

Both blotting paper and pell-mell are oft used words here in 1celand. ;)