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Wednesday,  June 12 , 2024

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News / Life / Clark County Life

Check It Out: Enjoy a buffet of books about the wonder of words

By Jan Johnston
Published: May 21, 2023, 6:00am

At a very early age, I fell in love with words, and I was fortunate to have parents who encouraged my passion for reading and writing. Numbers may be my nemesis, but words have always been my friends.

Are you a word nerd like me? I hope you are because this week’s reading list is all about language. I wasn’t planning on making today’s column about words, but I came across a new title that prompted me to search the library’s catalog for additional linguistic-related books. “Romaine Wasn’t Built in a Day” by Judith Tschann piqued my interest after reading the publisher’s description: “Food historian Judith Tschann celebrates this glorious intersection of linguistic and culinary affinities … a decadent romp through the history of food words.” I love words — and I happen to love food — so this is a win-win in my world. The best thing about this is that I can eat my words and not feel bad about it.

Writing guides advise against using overly wordy sentences, or what is sometimes referred to as “word salad.” I agree with this advice. However, enjoying a salad of words sounds fun and delicious. Therefore, I encourage word nerds to indulge your wordy appetite by checking out the titles in this week’s reading list. Bonne lecture and bon appetit!

  • “Don’t Believe a Word: The Surprising Truth About Language” by David Shariatmadari.
  • “Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing: Encounters with the Mysteries and Meanings of Language” by Daniel Tammet.
  • “The Illustrated Book of Sayings: Curious Expressions from Around the World” by Ella Frances Sanders.
  • “Why Do We Say That?: 101 Idioms, Phrases, Sayings & Facts – A Brief History on Where They Come From” by Scott Matthews.