Friday, April 23, 2010

The Well-Read Commuter Reviews: A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi"

The Origin of Foreign Words Used in English
By Chloe Rhodes

What this book is about:
"English doesn't borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over, and goes through their pockets for loose grammar." -James D. Nicoll
Chloe Rhodes is a tour de force of information in her latest book about the origin of foreign words and how we use them. From amok to debacle and paparazzi (Italian for mosquitoes), Rhodes delights and intrigues a solid book.

Did you like it:
This book is beautifully presented with decorative hardcover and gift tag on the inside making it the perfect book to use as a gift. I found it interesting and I was surprised at how many words that we use in everyday life have their origins in other countries. I was taken aback to learn ketchup, the all-American condiment, began life as koechiap in seventeenth century China! Full of fun, surprises and insights this book is an organized, easy read. For each word, Rhodes not only gives the origin of the word, but also how they became included in our language.

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