Fueled by continuous new coinages in science, communications, business, and politics, the English language in the last decade has changed faster than at any time in the fifteen centuries of its history. In Winged Words, Philip Howard, the Literary Editor of The Times of London, examines this incredible flood of new words and phrases, from Golden Parachute to chaology (the mathematical study of chaos), from rehab to GIGO, and from Thatcher girls to Reaganomics.
This is the fifth collection of Howard's articles on language. As ever, he is informative, witty, and entertaining, providing much good humor as he illuminates recent changes to British and American English. In the first half of the book he considers words or new meanings that have appeared in the last few years, analyzing their usage and, when possible, explaining their derivation. In the second half, he discusses general matters such as the growth of new metaphors and modern proverbs, Janus words (words that have two, contradictory meanings; for instance, "cleave" can mean both "split apart" and "cling to"), and the "English vice" of repeating famous quotes.
Whether skewering pompous medical jargon or offering insightful comments on slang, Philip Howard is always amusing and knowledgeable. Winged Words will delight wordsmiths and logophiles--and anyone else who loves language.show more