Around the World in 80 Words: A Journey through the English Language

Tantor Audio. 2020. 722p. ISBN 9781705224748. $19.99. LANG
Etymology can be a dry subject, but Jones (The Accidental Dictionary) makes the history of words intriguing by taking the reader on a journey around the world to consider how place names have inspired words used in the English language. While the focus is on 80 places and the 80 words they inspired, Jones also includes tidbits about additional words, sparked by specific locations or regions around them. Narrator Matthew Lloyd Davies makes the monumental job of pronouncing words from a wide range of languages seem effortless, even in the passages that feature excerpts from historical letters or texts. There is a definite advantage to hearing all of the words spoken out loud rather than just seeing them on the page, though the listener does lose out on seeing the spellings of the words and place names.
VERDICT A fun and informative exploration for word nerds.
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