by Alex Horne
Written by Alex Horne, a British comedian, Word Watching (rhymes with bird watching – get it?) is a book about one man’s attempt to invent his own words and get them into the dictionary. After all if Beyoncé can get “bootilicious” into the dictionary how hard can it be? Pretty hard actually. You see you can’t just decide a word exists, you need evidence that a word is widely in use. He needs what the dictionary authorities call a ‘corpus’ of examples, hard data showing that any new words are in widespread and long-term usage. So he resolves to create a corpus, and this is the epic and ridiculous story of one his struggle to break into the dictionary. From covert word-dropping on Countdown to wilfully misinforming schoolchildren, Alex tries it all in his quest for dictionary-based immortality.
If you like words, and you’re not worried about learning a few that might not quite be “official”, you’ll love it. So, don’t be a pratdigger, buy this book.
As Kate Copstick from the Scotsman put it: “As a reviewer, one never actually has to put one’s honk where one’s mouth is. If a show is completely games we can throw our paddles up and call it a load of bollo, safe in the knowledge it will not be over till the honest lady sings.”
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