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Horologicon (2013)

Horologicon (2013)

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3.95 of 5 Votes: 3
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0425264378 (ISBN13: 9780425264379)
Berkley Trade

About book Horologicon (2013)

3.5/5 - Good fun! I think the obscure and archaic (and sometimes not) Scots words are the best ones.I was surprised by how many of the words I already knew, but there are so many other interesting words! I was particularly pleased to learn about the 'wheady mile' because, as someone who walks everywhere, I encounter those fairly regularly (like the last five minutes of my walk home from work). I do think the author is right that you shouldn't try to read the book all at once - I got a bit burnt out and overwhelmed. It was much more fun once I started reading one section at a time. There are many books about obscure and amusing words: novelty gift items, mostly, that end up as lavatory reading, if not at the thrift shop. They are a few steps up the literary ladder from bound collections of grumpy cat photos. Mark Forsyth had a surprise publishing hit with such a collection, ‘The Etymologicon’, which by all accounts was one of the best of its kind. The author’s droll prose-style sometimes reminds me of Jerome K. Jerome.A sequel was bound to be tricky. More of the same? ‘The Horologicon’ has the clever idea of ordering the new set of words according to the hours of the day - in the manner of a mediaeval Book of Hours, but with a humorous modern slant. This works surprisingly well, although the attempt to fit the words into place is sometimes a little strained. Funnily enough, I find myself reading the book as a kind of low-rent version of Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’, for the way that it recreates an average day of an average, hapless person, using foregrounded language to defamiliarise the events of the daily round. A modernist masterpiece it isn't, but I liked it...

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This a christmas stocking book aimed at those sitting on the loo for a while.... fun but frivolous

A hilarious book. Entertaining and recommendable.

Very cleaver take on the subject matter.


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