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Get 500 Years of New Words: The Fascinating Story of How, When, PDF

By Bill Sherk

ISBN-10: 1550025252

ISBN-13: 9781550025255

500 Years of recent phrases takes you on an exhilarating trip in the course of the English language from the times earlier than Shakespeare to the 1st decade of the twenty first century. the entire major entries are prepared no longer alphabetically by means of in chronological order in keeping with the earliest recognized yr that every be aware was once revealed or written down. starting with "America" in 1507 and spanning the centuries to "Marsiphobiphiliac" in 2004 (a one that would really like to visit Mars yet is petrified of being marooned there), this publication could be opened at any web page and the reader will find a spectacular array of linguistic delights. In different phrases, this e-book is unputdownable (the major access for 1947). If Shakespeare have been alive this present day, he may purchase this publication.

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Extra info for 500 Years of New Words: The Fascinating Story of How, When, and Why Hundreds of Your Favourite Words First Entered the English Language

Sample text

1554 MAYPOLE Since prehistoric times, people have held festivals to celebrate the return of spring. During the Middle Ages, the people of England set aside the first of May as a day of rejoicing. Flowers adorned doors, windows and gateposts, gifts were exchanged, and the fairest maid of the village was chosen Queen of the May. Somewhere along the way, the maypole was added to the festivities (the term itself has not been found in print earlier than 1554, although the practice of erecting such a pole likely goes back to an earlier date).

Sixteen years later, in the year that Queen Mary died and left the throne to her half-sister Elizabeth, the more melodious synonym twangle joined the English language. Both words are examples of musical onomatopoeia, along with pluck, strum, pick and plunk, all of which apply to stringed instruments. Pluck and pick go back to the Middle Ages, but strum and plunk are relative newcomers to English. Strum first appeared in print on the eve of the American Revolution, in 1775, and plunk had its debut thirty years later, in 1805.

He called the new product “vulcanized rubber,” after Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, because the heat of the fire brought the rubber and sulphur together to make what Goodyear was looking for. You can see Goodyear’s name on television today whenever the Goodyear blimp floats across your screen, but poor Charlie had his problems. His serendipitous (see page 170) discovery paved the way for our modern rubber industry, but Goodyear himself spent the rest of his life fighting to defend his patent rights and died heavily in debt.

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500 Years of New Words: The Fascinating Story of How, When, and Why Hundreds of Your Favourite Words First Entered the English Language by Bill Sherk


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