Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Lit 112308

ALPHABET JUICE: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, Tinctures, Tonics, and Essences; With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory. By Roy Blount Jr 364 pp. Sarah Crichton Books/ Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $25. Reviewed By JACK SHAFER, NYTimes

Roy Blount Jr. has returned from the fields where the American lingo grows wild to write “Alphabet Juice,” his personal lexicon, usage manual, writers’ guidebook, etymological investigation and literary junk drawer. This alphabetically arranged book reads like a big bag of salty snacks: nibble five or six of its 500-plus entries and you’ll have to wolf the whole thing.

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