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Synopsis

As English has evolved over the past 1,500 years, words that were once in common usage have slipped out of usage. Some are delightful, others not so much. This book blows the dust off a thousand delightful words, bringing them to a whole new audience. So if you enjoy words for their own sake, or if you are at all curious about how people talked and wrote when the world was a quite different place, then this book is for you.

Ever since it emerged as a distinct language from the West Germanic dialect spoken by early arrivals to what is now called England around the 5th Century C.E, English has busily absorbed many thousands of words from Ancient Greek and Roman Latin, the Northern Germanic languages of Scandinavia, the French spoken in Normandy, and more recently from countries that were once part of the British Empire (for example India). Most recently, American English has contributed many words to colourfully describe the modern world. The Oxford English Dictionary in 2011 lists over 250,000 words, and that does not include many more technical and slang words.

Use this book like a hungry person might approach a delicious buffet lunch. It deserves to be consumed slowly, savouring the flavours and giving them time to be properly digested.

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