500 Years of New Words: The Fascinating Story of How, When, by Bill Sherk

By Bill Sherk

500 Years of latest phrases takes you on a thrilling trip throughout the English language from the times prior to Shakespeare to the 1st decade of the twenty first century. all of the major entries are prepared no longer alphabetically via in chronological order in line with the earliest identified 12 months that every observe used to be revealed or written down. starting with "America" in 1507 and spanning the centuries to "Marsiphobiphiliac" in 2004 (a one that would like to visit Mars yet is scared of being marooned there), this e-book should be opened at any web page and the reader will find a surprising array of linguistic delights. In different phrases, this booklet is unputdownable (the major access for 1947). If Shakespeare have been alive this day, he may purchase this publication.

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Additional info for 500 Years of New Words: The Fascinating Story of How, When, and Why Hundreds of Your Favourite Words First Entered the English Language

Sample text

One person in four went to the grave, and as people tried to flee from what they believed was the wrath of God, they carried the sickness into new towns and villages, creating further panic and spreading the disease in ever-widening circles. In the midst of all the suffering and death, one little village in England — Eyam by name — had its finest hour. Recognizing the highly contagious nature of the disease, the local village priest persuaded the three hundred and 58 500 Y EARS OF N EW W ORDS fifty inhabitants of Eyam to hold their ground and hope for the best.

Leading the way in the English-speaking world was the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which began as a “dictionary of arts, science and general literature” and was first published in Edinburgh between 1768 and 1771. Anyone who reads an encyclopedia from A to Z will certainly acquire a well-rounded education. As a young lad, the prolific author Isaac Asimov set himself the task of doing just that, but his mother sold the set when he was halfway through F. And then there’s the story of the fellow who bought a book called How to Hug, thinking it would be filled with amorous advice for someone looking for a little romance.

Nearly four hundred years later, in 1931, the word scrabble became a proper noun and trademark when unemployed American architect Alfred Mosher Butts invented Criss-crosswords. Jim Brunot, who bought the rights to the game from Butts, changed the name to Scrabble, to reflect the digging for the letters on the part of the players. Since the day Butts had his brainstorm, more than fifty million Scrabble sets have been sold, and the game continues to sell at the rate of one million copies a year. If you play the game to win, you should memorize the eighty-three two-letter words that qualify for use in the game.

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