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A Certain
     

A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi": The Origin of Foreign Words Used in English

by Chloe Rhodes
 

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"English doesn't borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over, and goes through their pockets for loose grammar."
-James D. Nicoll

Organized alphabetically for easy reference, A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi" is an accessible lexicon of foreign words and phrases used in English, containing

Overview

"English doesn't borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over, and goes through their pockets for loose grammar."
-James D. Nicoll

Organized alphabetically for easy reference, A Certain "Je Ne Sais Quoi" is an accessible lexicon of foreign words and phrases used in English, containing everything from aficionado (Spanish) to zeitgeist (German). Inside you'll find translations, definitions, origins, and a descriptive timeline of each item's evolution. Entries include:

  • À la carte: from the card or of the menu (French)
  • Fiasco: complete failure (Italian)
  • Dungarees: thick cotton cloth/overalls (Hindi)
  • Diaspora: dispersion (Greek)
  • Smorgasbord: bread and butter (Swedish)
  • Cognoscenti: those who know (Italian)
  • Compos mentis: having mastery of one's mind; with it (Latin)
Attractively packaged with black and white illustrations, this whimsical yet authoritative book is a great gift for any etymologically fascinated individual. Use this book to reacquaint yourself with the English language, and you'll be compos mentis in no time.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781606522769
Publisher:
Reader's Digest
Publication date:
10/19/2010
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
795,041
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Chloe Rhodes is a freelance journalist who has worked for The Telegraph, Guardian and The Times as well as numerous other respected publications. She lives in North London with her husband.

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