Summary and book reviews of A Word A Day by Anu Garg

A Word A Day

A Romp through Some of the Most Unusual and Intriguing Words in English

by Anu Garg

A Word A Day
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  • Paperback:
    Jan 2003, 224 pages

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About this Book

Book Summary

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.

Contents

Introduction.

  1. Animal Words.
  2. Latin Terms.
  3. Words to Describe People - I.
  4. Lesser-Known Counterparts of Everyday Words.
  5. Words for Odds and Ends.
  6. Reduplicatives.
  7. Discover the Theme I.
  8. Gender-Specific Nouns.
  9. Verbs.
  10. Coined Words I.
  11. Back-Formations.
  12. Portmanteaux.
  13. Short Words.
  14. Words That Make the Spell-Checker Ineffective.
  15. Names for Things.
  16. Words Formed by Metathesis.
  17. Words Not to Put On Your Résumé.
  18. A Verbal Zoo.
  19. Words From Medicine.
  20. Semordnilap.
  21. Words With Color as Metaphor.
  22. Words that Make One Say, "I Didn't Know there was a Word for That!"
  23. Wordpix I.
  24. Wordpix II.
  25. Wordpix III.
  26. Words with Offbeat Pluralizations.
  27. Words about Relations.
  28. Collective Nouns.
  29. Positive Words.
  30. Discover the Theme II.
  31. Lesser-Known Synonyms of Everyday Words.
  32. Words from Speeches.
  33. Words That Contain the Vowels AEIOU Once and Only Once.
  34. Coined Words II.
  35. English as a Global Language.
  36. Eponyms.
  37. Words about Words I.
  38. Uncommon Words with Common Suffixes.
  39. Words to ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

The New York Times

A Word of the Day Keeps Banality at Bay. ... A delightful, quirky collection.

St Petersburg Times

Only Anu Garg, the founder of Wordsmith.org, can make word facts this much fun. His book, A Word a Day is full of this stuff, with chapter names like Words for Body Parts That Are Used Metaphorically, Words Not to Put on Your Resume and Words That Make One Say, 'I Didn't Know There Was a Word for That!' Garg writes This book is an expression of the joy of words, the magic of words, the music of words - a real yawnfest for bibliophobes (people who hate books), but a side-splitting lesson plan for bibliophiles and word lovers.

Author Blurb John Simpson, Chief Editor, Oxford English Dictionary
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.

Author Blurb Barbara Wallraff - Senior Editor at The Atlantic Monthly and author of Word Court
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!

Author Blurb Richard Lederer, author of The Miracle of Language
A banquet of words! Feast and be nourished!

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