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The Book of Babel: Words and the Way We See Things
by Nigel Lewis | Nonfiction
Registered by woosang of Picton, New South Wales Australia on 8/6/2005
This book has not been rated. 

status (set by Calissa): permanent collection


2 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by woosang from Picton, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, August 06, 2005

This book has not been rated.

A celebration of the confusion surrounding language, which explores the relationship between words and the world. The author examines connections between groups of seemingly unrelated words, traces the origin of words and describes the power of language to pull perception in its wake. 


Journal Entry 2 by woosang at Starbucks in Civic, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, August 06, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Released 12 yrs ago (8/8/2005 UTC) at Starbucks in Civic, Australian Capital Territory Australia

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

At Canberra August Meeting 


Journal Entry 3 by Calissa from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, August 08, 2005

This book has not been rated.

A special thanks to Woosang for saving this one for me. As a writer, I'm looking very much forward to reading it! 


Journal Entry 4 by Calissa from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, August 31, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Apologies to woosang for having taken so long to get to reading this book.

Woosang did a good job of summing up what the book is about. It is essentially a book on etymology. It is divided into two parts. In the first part, the author talks about the origin and relationship of particular words by grouping them into different metaphorical categories. For example, he touches on a number of different words that are related to pigs. The conceits he uses are a bit laboured and the writing a bit dry. This is balanced out somewhat by the short sections which make it much easier to read in small bites, provided you can remember what the conceit of the chapter was supposed to be.

The second section is a lexicon, something that approaches a dictionary. However, instead of giving the meaning of the word the reader is provided with some interesting examples of how this word is translated into other languages. This probably should have been explained in an introduction to the lexicon. When I first started reading it, I thought that the author was going to give the etymological history of the word in English--how we arrived at the word we use. It took me a couple of entries before I understood what he was doing.

Overall, the structure could have been improved and it wasn't as personable to read as other books on language I've encountered, such as David Crystal's By Hook or By Crook. You need to have an interest in the subject matter. 


Journal Entry 5 by Calissa from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, August 31, 2009

This book has not been rated.

After checking with Woosang, I have decided to make this part of my permanent collection. My review probably wasn't all that kind, but the book did have some interesting information that could be useful to me in the future. 


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