Monday, November 7, 2016

Book Review: That Should Be a Word: A Language Lover’s Guide to Choregasms, Povertunity, Brattling, and 250 Other Much-Needed Terms for the Modern World by Lizzie Skurnick

Occasionally it's good to throw in a lightweight book as a palate cleanser, just like a nice sorbet between courses. Especially if one has been reading the same history book diligently for a month now and never seems to get anywhere.

Lizzie Skurnick is someone I've long been a huge fan of, having loved her memoir Shelf Discovery, about YA novels she loved as a girl and that hold up over time. (It eventually inspired her to start an imprint at Ig Books, reissuing classic YA novels from the 70s and 80s.) She also used to write a column in the New York Times Magazine where she would make up words (entirely portmanteaus which is a word made by mashing two other words together like brunch.) This book compiles a few hundred of those words, sorted by subject, and it is laugh-out-loud funny. Marrieds will nod knowingly before even reading the definition of martyrmony. And how has fidgital—excessively checking one’s devices—not caught on? Mostly covering pop culture and everyday society, things such as children and household chores and social media, everyone can identify with Ms. Skurnick's hilariously made-up but oh-so-necessary new words. For anyone word obsessed (like me!) this book is a must-have, and would make a great gift.

I'm not 100% sure where I got this book but I'm guessing I bought it at Park Road Books.

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