Friday, November 28, 2008

When Words Have a Life of Their Own

As I confided to you some time back, in some alternative universe I think have a thriving career as a lexicographer. I am turned on by dictionaries, love words and their etymologies.

It's really nice to hear about a book on the English language winning the John Llewellyn Rhys this year - the first time a work of non-fiction has won since it's inception.*

Henry Hitchings's The Secret Life of Words, about the roots of modern English and the origins of words is, according to the chair of the judges :
... Amazingly accessible, it's written with great grace and enthusiasm and humour, and is also a scholarly work.
You can read reviews of the book in a number of places including the Times, the New York Sun, and the Independent.

I'm looking to laying my hands on a copy soon!

* (Oops i get corrected in the comments!)


mayang mengurai said...

Hi there! Thank you for highlighting this book; it is a must-have for me. Like you (if I may say so), I am word-struck myself. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I just wanted to point out that this isn't the first non-ficiton book to win the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. It was won back in 2003 by Mary Laven with her book Virgins of Venice. Also, in 2000 by Edward Platt with Leadville, in 1993 by Jason Goodwin with On Foot to the Golden Horn, etc... Just thought I'd mention it!

bibliobibuli said...

thanks a lot for pointing this out.