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A new book: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two

From: Wordsmith (garg AT wordsmith.org)
To: linguaphileATwordsmith.org
Subject: A new book: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two

Every night, before I tuck my elementary-school-aged daughter to bed, I read stories to her. For her, storytime is sacrosanct: It's okay to skip dinner or brushing her teeth, or even sleep, but not storytime.

Some nights when we're running late, I tell her, "You have to get up early for your violin class. Let's leave it to tomorrow night."

"How about just a little bit?" she pleads.

Okay. I read, "Once upon a time..." and close the book. "There."

"No. How about five pages?" she proposes.

"How about one paragraph?" I ask. And so the negotiations begin.

Eventually a deal is struck and I agree to read two pages, but before I realize it, I've finished the whole chapter. The violin teacher can wait.

That's the charm of stories (from Latin historia: history). Even when we grow up, our fondness for them doesn't go away. And what if the stories are all true? Well, that's my upcoming book, published by the Penguin Group:

In this book I've collected stories about words and their origins. You'll learn why cappuccino is named after a monk, what the unit for the warmth of clothes is, and what ghost words are ('dord' is one). The book will be released in about a month, but you can pre-order it now.

Listing of bookstores in other countries.

I hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)


Compared to the drama of words, Hamlet is a light farce.
-Anatoly Liberman, professor (b. 1937)

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