All In a Word

All In a Word

100 Delightful Excursions into the Uses and Abuses of Words

By Vivian Cook

Melville House, Paperback, 9781935554226, 320pp.

Publication Date: November 23, 2010


Delve into the hidden nature of words:
An irresistible mix of information, curiosity, and fun

Linguist Vivian Cook takes us on a brilliant series of excursions into the history and meaning of words: How do we learn words as a child? How are words born, and why do they die? Why do some never get spoken, and others never written? Each chapter is charmingly illustrated—and accompanied by a rich assortment of games, lists, puzzles, and quotes. From polite words to crass words, from p-c words to Shakespeare’s words, from food and wine words to jazz and drug words—the book is an exciting exploration into the abundance and variety of words.

About the Author

Vivian Cook is a professor of applied linguistics at Newcastle University. He is the author of the bestselling Accomodating Brocolli in the Cemetary: Or Why Can't Anybody Spell, which he was inspired to write out of frustration with those who, not knowing the crucial gender difference between the British spellings Vivian and Vivien assume from his first name that he is a woman. He lives in Colchester, England.