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)2012 AudioGO Ltd
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.
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.
It's a book you can dip in and out of easily. There is always something new to learn. Entertaining at the same time. You can easily imagine the author dropping these thoughts into general conversation.
Easy to listen to.
You could do if you wanted. I enjoyed it most because you could put it down for a while and pick it up again without having to start at the beginning again.
I don't normally listen to non fiction, but i really enjoyed this book and will look for more by this author.
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.
Fascinating, Interesting, Brainstorming
It made me think that if they taught etymology in schools, we would have a head start when it comes to learning foreign languages.
Fantastic Book that I originally bought as a paperback for a flight to the USA, after the flight I found I wanted to finish the book - but had no time to do so, so I reverted to the audio book and have been amazing my friends with random bits of trivia ever since. For me the book of the year so far.
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!
I've only listened to the audio version, but found the narration engaging
The linkage from one word or idea to the next produced such an unusual trip through the english language
The sense of his passion and enthusiasm for the subject really came through
A must read for anyone who enjoys the thoughtful use of words
Very amusing and very interesting. I especially loved the way it ended, thought it was genius really. The anecdotes did make me giggle out loud and look silly, but it was worth it. Definitely.
"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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