The Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language (Hardback)
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Short Description for The Horologicon Mark Forsyth's bestselling day in the life of unusual, beautiful and forgotten English words, in paperback for the first time
- Published: 01 November 2012
- Format: Hardback 272 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781848314153 ISBN 10: 1848314159
- Sales rank: 4,649
Reviews for The Horologicon
- Top review
An eleventh-hour largesse for the lexis votarient in your midguard.
Are you looking for that wonderful gift to present to the individual in your life who appears to have swallowed a lexicon with their mornings repast, and have you been a bit tardy in getting said article? Well fret not here is an awesome nay, Brobdingnagian offering that could easily engender feelings of exuberance and even adoration from said recipient!
In his preambulation Mark Forsyth states that this book is for those words that are..
"To beautiful to live long, too amusing to be taken seriously, too precise to become common, too vulgar to survive in polite company, or too poetic to thrive in this age of prose."
He goes on to say that these words languish away in old and arenaceous dictionaries, that these are the lost words and the great secrets of civilisations that can still be of use today.
What sets this marvellous read apart from your standard lexicon is the method of recording used does not follow the A - Z format. In fact the writer states that by having words arranged alphabetically within a dictionary you render them useless as they bear no relation to their neighbouring words and are estranged from those words they share a relationship with (for example in the Oxford English Dictionary, wine and corkscrew are separated by seventeen volumes). This led the author after hours of rumination and a degree of puttering to fix upon the idea of using the medieval book of hours as his solution to this dilemma, in the process reinventing the reference book for the modern world and it's constant haste. With this method all one needs to do is to check the time of day via whatever clepsydra you prefer and then by referring to the correct page within this publication - suitable words should avail themselves for your use and the delectation of all within earshot.
The Horologicon (or book of hours) is the partner to last years The Etymologicon, and like that wonderful book, uses Mark's Inky Fool blog, as it's reference point. Where as the previous work, threaded us through the strange connection that exist between words, The Horologicon, is literally a book of hours, charting the period from just before the moment day-raw streaks red across the sky and guiding us through the day and eventide up until Bulls-noon, where we, having wished bene darkmans to our loved ones, will hopefully be ensconced in our dreamery, asleep in those arms of Morpheus.
"This is a reference work. You should on no account attempt to read it cover to cover. If you do, Hell itself will have no horrors for you, and neither the author nor his parent company will accept liability for any suicides, rampages, or crazed nudity that may result." Mark Forsyth. by parrish lantern