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Authorisms Book Cover Authorisms
Paul Dickson
Language Arts & Disciplines
Bloomsbury Publishing USA
April 22, 2014

Sorting through the neologisms of such literary greats as Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott and William Shakespeare, this celebration of the English language presents the stories behind hundreds of words and phrases that have become part of our standard vocabulary today. 30,000 first printing.

All books are full of words, but I really enjoy books that are full of words about words. Paul Dickson has written other books I have enjoyed as well — this one is a review of the different words that different authors coined and managed to get into circulation. I really enjoyed finding out how recent some of them are.

For example, Oliver Wendell Holmes coined the word “unconscious.” Milton coined “the light fantastic” to describe dancing. The first sighting of “T-shirt” is found in F. Scott Fitzgerald. The word “scientist” was coined by the Rev. William Whewell in 1840.

Good stuff.

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