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The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English… (edition 2012)

by Mark Forsyth

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Member:passion4reading
Title:The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language
Authors:Mark Forsyth
Info:Icon Books Ltd (2012), Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:non-fiction, reference, English language, linguistics, humour

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The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language by Mark Forsyth

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Mildly amusing. ( )
  sloopjonb | May 24, 2014 |
After The Etymologicon, Mark Forsyth wrote The Horologicon, a book with obsolete, but very entertaining and interesting words (nouns, adjectives, verbs, expressions, ...), arranged in clockwise order. Each chapter represents an hour or time frame, starting with morning and waking up. This goes into breakfast, work, lunch, teatime, shopping, going out, etcetera.

Applying his witty style to this book, mr. Forsyth managed to compile it all in a neat manner, where - like in The Etymologicon - each term/expression leads to an other, in a logical way.

As The Horologicon focuses on the English language, you'll also find that the discussed terms are related to foreign languages. I even saw a word that is used in West-Flemish: (to) skink, which means to pour (wine, water, ...). In the western part of Flanders, to skink wine, for example, is to pour wine into a glass. Or to donate something to charity. E.g.: Wie schenkt er wijn? Wie goat er win skinkn? The proper verb in Dutch is 'schenken'.

There's also a nice overview of the consulted works (old dictionaries and books). Added to that are the terms that mr. Forsyth didn't find in any of the dictionaries, or what he would call a dictionary, but he did mention where he got them from. At the end, and that's very convenient, is an index of all the old/obsolete words discussed in the book.

Like The Etymologicon, this book is far from a dry read. In fact, simply put, you could learn about language in a dry, academic manner. Or you can learn in a more loose way, with a slab of humour to make things more appealing and attractive. Less boring. Which makes you think why such ways of teaching aren't/weren't (?) applied in school. It would make the lessons much more fun. In my humble opinion. Of course, you won't easily remember most of the words in this book, unless you put your mind to it and study them. But it's a fun reference work, one you'll pick up now and then, if only to have an entertaining read. ( )
  TechThing | Oct 21, 2013 |
Somewhat unfortunately, I read this at the same time as the new QI book of 1,227 facts, which included many of the words in this volume, obviously not by total coincidence. It's a fun book, though, with Mark Forsyth's humour as much as or more in evidence than in The Etymologicon. I don't think I'm going to remember many of these words, if any, but they are indeed satisfying and odd, and some of them are undeservedly defunct. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
I loved this author's other language book, [b:The Etymologicon|12870068|The Etymologicon A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language|Mark Forsyth|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327934087s/12870068.jpg|18022434], so once I heard about this one I knew I had to read it.

This is a different sort of book though and doesn't quite hit the mark. The previous book, as the title suggests, is about the origins behind words, a topic I find fascinating. I like to know why we use words the way we do and how they evolved to current standards.

This book though is less about origins, though some are included, and more about obscure and forgotten words for various things. Each chapter is linked to an hour of the day and things associated with that hour. It was a good way of tying together different words and worked well.

Overall though this book just wasn't as interesting. There were a lot of funny words but there were also a great deal of words that were just a Latin version of an ordinary word. I find those rather boring as you can take almost any word and translate it into Latin. I'm more interested in the words that sprang from other sources.

If you like language I'd still recommend this book but I think you'll have a more enjoyable time reading [b:The Etymologicon|12870068|The Etymologicon A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language|Mark Forsyth|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327934087s/12870068.jpg|18022434]. ( )
  Shirezu | Mar 31, 2013 |
This is a really fun book and a must read for anyone who loves reading and learning about words. See my full review: http://youtu.be/b10UgeizXcA ( )
  Rincey | Mar 30, 2013 |
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A humourous stroll
Through the forgotten words of
The English language.
(passion4reading)

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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.

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