A quirky, entertaining and thought-provoking tour of the unexpected connections between words, read by Simon Shepherd. What is the actual connection between disgruntled and gruntled? What links church organs to organised crime, California to the Caliphate, or brackets to codpieces?
The Etymologicon springs from Mark Forsyth's Inky Fool blog on the strange connections between words. It's an occasionally ribald, frequently witty and unerringly erudite guided tour of the secret labyrinth that lurks beneath the English language, taking in monks and monkeys, film buffs and buffaloes, and explaining precisely what the Rolling Stones have to do with gardening.
©2012 Mark Forsyth (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Despite listening to this book 3 times over now I still am at a loss for the correct words to describe just how much I love it! Etymology can often be a dry subject but Mark Forsyth shows a real love and appreciation for the neglected words of our language. I was surprised at how how funny this book is and immediately had to down load his second book The Horologycon which was just as interesting and just as funny :) Can't recommend them highly enough!!
I really loved this book and the way it entwined words and their meanings together in a witty and sometimes intricate way. Anyone who enjoys tv programmes like Stephen Fry's QI will enjoy the trivia and references to our social, cultural and geographical history. I particularly took pleasure when words which I have always taken for granted suddenly took on new meanings and I had many eureka moments with the realisation of where these meanings came from. My only frustration; kept on having to pause and rewind, as the associations between words and their meanings moves through the text (you know what I mean) at some pace, I was still absorbing the previous paragraph when the equally interesting next section being narrated.
An excellent volume, well done Mr Forsyth.
This is one of those titles that provides the listener with endless fodder for appearing well-educated when chatting with friends in the pub. The origin of words is often a very interesting topic; this publication proves, as so many other books on etymology have, that what you believed something meant was actually wrong. The changes in the accepted meaning of words, or, indeed how they are changed to fit human bias or assumptions (burnsides to sideburns is a good example), is well illustrated here - memes abound! The creation of a concatenation of words to show the change in their meaning from their origin is quite successful and often illuminating.
The narrator has a prissy, English accent, perfectly suited to the subject matter and quite good for delivering the witty asides that punctuate the book.
I would definitely recommend The Etymologicon to anyone with an interest in language.
The author takes your on a fascinating tour of the english language and circles all the way around to where he began in a really amusing way. Each chapter very neatly segues into the next with fun and surprising connections between words that most people wouldn't expect.
The only bad thing about this audiobook was that I could have gone on listening for weeks and I was pretty disappointed when it was over. It definitely could have been longer. Fingers crossed there will be a sequel!
Judith Corstjens Author of: Xtensity, Why 5% of Dieters Succeed; Storewars: The Battle for Mindspace and Shelfspace; Strategic Advertising
By which, of course, I mean to say that the humour and wit of Mark Forsyth is of a whimsical and wordy style that brings to mind the author of the Hitchhikers' Guide, and makes me laugh in a particularly satisfying way. In the long dark teatime of our suburban lives, we need humour that puts crises and unsolvable political wrangles in their places by focusing exclusively, intelligently and most probably accurately on the etymology of everyday and not so everyday words.
This book was even better than expected. Having been taken by a sudden urge to find out the meanings of word, I was glad to do so in such an entertaining manner. Narration was excellent, engaging and enjoyable.
Such a good book I got a paper copy for reference and bookmarked the inky fool blog.
Listening to this book is just like a journey but of words. It links words to other words from their roots.
This book is all about words not characters.
The whole book is a joy. It starts and carries you along.
Not really a moving book but highly interesting.
A highly unusual book which combines history and wods. Worth a read.
I have dipped into this several times since I finished it, it's a lovely way to have a 'short listen'. I'm surprised how well-suited the subject matter is to the audiobook format.
This truly is a ramble that stakes out two unlikely cousins and then tracks them back to their common root.
There are no characters to follow, perhaps the English language is the only thing we follow.
I would probably have stumbled over many words had I tried to read it myself. Here I even get help with the latin words ;)
A perfect book to keep you happy if you have a long roadtrip, keep you from falling asleep while driving, or simply put you in a good mood with some random facts to give you a great start to a working day :)
"Fascinating subject might not be for everyone"
witty, educational, British
Wry British humour
The subject matter itself is quite dry - it's the history of words & phrases in the English language. Some may find that knowing the origin of the word "heroin" might not be worth their time or Audible credit (it was a trademark by Bayer for a cough syrup). But for language & history buffs, this is a great investment of your time & money.
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