The second book I’m reading for the Bout of Books Readathon is fiction. Below is a brief intro to the book (Thanks to Goodreads) as well as my reading progress so far. I usually read this book in bed before going to sleep so I’ve made less headway.
A fantastical Beauty and the Beast type tale—widely accessible and sure to appeal to a broad audience of all ages.
Legions of fans around the world have fallen in love with the brilliantly imagined, compulsively readable novels of Naomi Novik. Now, in this magnificent new standalone, Novik pens a bold fantasy with all the charm and wonder of a dark fairy tale for the modern age.
I typically read up to 3 books at any time – a fiction, a nonfiction, and an ebook. Instead of starting new books for the Bout of Books Readathon, I have been plowing through the books I’m already reading. Below is a synopsis for the ebook I’m nerding over, followed by my daily reading progress (as a percentage measurement rather than page numbers). Check back to see where I’m at!
Ebook: Word by Word – The Secret Life of Dictionaries / Kory Stamper
Many of us take dictionaries for granted, and few may realize that the process of writing dictionaries is, in fact, as lively and dynamic as language itself. With sharp wit and irreverence, Kory Stamper cracks open the complex, obsessive world of lexicography, from the agonizing decisions about what to define and how to do it, to the knotty questions of usage in an ever-changing language. She explains why small words are the most difficult to define, how it can take nine months to define a single word, and how our biases about language and pronunciation can have tremendous social influence. And along the way, she reveals little-known surprises–for example, the fact that “OMG” was first used in a letter to Winston Churchill in 1917.
I realise the words I write on here are mostly for myself. A way to express my thoughts to “the world” the “you” in that sort of abstract way where I assume everyone wants to know what’s going on in my head. Of course they do, it’s me!
But everybody who writes thinks the same thing. We all think our ideas are the most important, and we want to accumulate all those hits and likes and comments to validate us and boost our confidence. I’ve been to writing groups that tout themselves as “critique” but then spend the whole time basically congratulating each other and stroking each other’s egos.
We’re important because we write. We’re important because we share our ideas and we publish them. But once in awhile, people actually read what we write. We don’t always think about the reader who will eventually interpret what we say, who will try to make sense of our ramblings, and who will judge everything more harshly than our writer friends.
But I have ideas and they’re important. Because they’re mine. At the same time, I hope I can find people who are interested in the same things that I am. That’s actually the end goal here. If you find something here you find interesting, don’t just “like” it. Start a conversation. Interact directly. Comment and argue and tell me what YOU think. Because I like to think I’m not alone, but some days it feels like I am.
If you like to read A LOT and appreciate a challenge, join a read-a-thon. I didn’t know such a thing even existed until today, but it sounds pretty awesome, esp. because I already read all the time. The goal is to read as much as you possibly can within a week and update your reading progress as well as interact with other people who are also doing the challenge. There are some prizes available, but it’s really about the experience. Now the question is, which books should I read? My shelves are full and I’ve even got some library books hanging out so there’s no shortage of material.
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
For prisoners held at concentration camps during World War II, a new language called lagerszpracha arose from necessity. In many camps, there were prisoners of up to forty different nationalities, many of whom spoke different languages. It became increasingly apparent that they would need to use a more familiar common language (also known as a lingua franca to us word nerds).
This language became lagerszpracha, also refereed to as lagerjargon or, rather morbidly, crematorium Esperanto. The official language of the camps was still German, but prisoners used lagerszpracha to communicate among themselves, particularly because using their native language was forbidden.
There were different varieties of lagerszpracha, which was created primarily out of Polish, Yiddish, Hungarian and Silesian dialects, as well as other languages spoken in the given camp. These differences were observed not only between camps but also between the language used in men’s and women’s camps.
Below is a book I am currently reading, which briefly mentioned lagerzspracha and made me curious to investigate more:
When I was kid, my mom and I would often walk on either side of a pole and then say “bread and butter” when we came back together on the other side. Today, while we were driving, she brought it up, asking “I wonder where that comes from?” Immediately, I decided to find out.
Turns out this “bread and butter” tradition dates back to at least the 1920s, if not earlier. It is a superstition that if a couple (either romantic or friends) is broken apart during their walk by either another person or another object, they must say “bread and butter” when they meet up again, or they are doomed to have a conflict later on. The thought is that bread and butter go together, and that bread, once buttered, cannot be “unbuttered.”
Although my family has only ever used “bread and butter” in this way, people have also used “salt and pepper” in this superstition.
Source: Signs and Superstitions Collected from American College Girls, published by American Folklore Society in 1923