Monday 15 October 2012

The Horologicon by Mark Forsyth - Book Review

Title: The Horologicon
Author: Mark Forysth
Publisher: Icon Books
Publication Date: 1st November 2012
Pages: 272
Format: E-Book - PDF
Genre: Non-Fiction / Language
Source: ARC via NetGalley

The Horologicon – which means 'a book of things appropriate to each hour' - follows a day in the life of unusual, beautiful and forgotten English words.

From the moment you wake to the second your head hits the pillow, there’s a cornucopia of hidden words ready for every aspect of your day.

Do you tend to lie in bed before dawn worrying? Then you have the Old English ailment of uhtceare. Uhtceare can lead on to dysania (inability to get out of bed) and other zwoddery problems, which many have suffered but few can name.

From encounters with office ultracrepidarians, lunchtime scamblers and six o’clock sturmovschinas to the post-work joys of thelyphthoric grinagogs and nimtopsical nympholepsy, Mark Forsyth, author of the Sunday Times Number One bestseller The Etymologicon, unearths words that you didn’t even know you needed.

From antejentacular to bedward by way of nuncheon, at last you can say, with utter accuracy, exactly what you mean.
(Goodreads Synopsis)

I found this book to be a fun and light-hearted read that was at once both entertaining and informative. I certainly learnt a lot of new words and laughed out loud a few times. I doubt many of the words will creep into my everyday vocabulary, but it was definitely worthwhile getting to know them.

This is a book that will appeal to any keen linguist and anyone with an interest in the lost words and phrases of the English language. It is a work you can read cover to cover or dip into at your leisure, perhaps looking up the relevant words for the time of day you find yourself in.

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