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Now revised to include new words and updated essays, Keywords focuses on the sociology of language, demonstrating how the key words we use to understand our society take on new meanings and how these changes reflect the political bent and values of society.


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Now revised to include new words and updated essays, Keywords focuses on the sociology of language, demonstrating how the key words we use to understand our society take on new meanings and how these changes reflect the political bent and values of society.

30 review for Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society

  1. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    As I get older, I’ve been becoming more interested in etymology. Years ago I read a book about metaphor and poetry that said that most words start off as metaphors – essentially that we are all synesthetics – and that even as words change their meanings over time, there is a residual of these early metaphorical meanings that linger around the new meanings of the word. What is interesting about this residual meaning is that you don’t particularly have to ‘know’ the original ‘meaning’ of the work As I get older, I’ve been becoming more interested in etymology. Years ago I read a book about metaphor and poetry that said that most words start off as metaphors – essentially that we are all synesthetics – and that even as words change their meanings over time, there is a residual of these early metaphorical meanings that linger around the new meanings of the word. What is interesting about this residual meaning is that you don’t particularly have to ‘know’ the original ‘meaning’ of the work for the original meaning to affect the current meaning of the word. This can all sound a bit like mystical nonsense, but I don’t mean it to. And I also don’t want it to sound like I’m saying something even more snobby, even if I suspect that the snobby meaning might hold more truth – that is, that knowing the etymology of words is something likely to be more available to certain classes than it is to ‘the rest of us’ and so ‘they’ are able to understand the nuance of meanings better than ‘we’ are. I think learning the etymology of words complicates their meanings, showing shades of meaning we might not have otherwise notice. But Williams is particularly opposed to this idea in its most boldly stated form. He points out that the idea people can speak their own native language all of their lives, and yet not be understood to be able to speak it ‘properly’ is one of the most obnoxious versions of class shaming imaginable. And I totally agree – but I also think learning the genealogy of words brings ideas to life in ways it is hard to achieve otherwise. Word origins and their shifts in meaning can give us a strange sense of vertigo. Recently, I learnt that ‘normal’ only came into the English language in the mid-17th century. That means that Shakespeare never referred to anyone as ‘normal’ – in fact, for that sense of the word you had to wait until the early 19th century (I think you needed to wait for statistics to become a thing). Imagine not being able to say to Shakespeare, ‘that man’s a bit too normal for my tastes’. Normal is from the Latin for a carpenter’s square – so, it basically meant right-angled. Knowing that original meaning might not fully explain what normal means, but I think it helps us to make a word we otherwise take for granted a little strange – and that that is a good thing. This book does something like that the whole way through. The words selected are among the trickiest words in the English language (and in social theory) – we are talking ‘culture’, ‘democracy’, ‘communism’, ‘civilisation’, ‘romanticism’... But while Williams provides interesting etymologies of the words, he does much more than ‘just’ that. And that is because these words don’t really have a meaning – rather they have a series of contested meanings depending on who is using them. This is a similar point to the one above about the shaming of people who do not use the ‘standard’ version of the language. This means that words that seem at first glance to be unequivocally good – say, realism or rationalism or idealism – become complicated and even soiled be association with certain theories. This is particularly true as our ideas broaden and develop over time so that what is wrought by these changes shift the meanings of otherwise innocuous or even positive words making them turn into their opposites. Positivist is perhaps as good an example of this as any other to show the problems associated with what might otherwise seem unproblematic words. The word comes from Comte and originally meant ‘scientific’ or perhaps more ‘empirical’. This was a case of using the word for a philosophical position of arguing against a priori ideas – but it became increasingly associated with the idea of ‘if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist’ – which is so clearly nonsense that it probably seems inevitable that eventually positivism itself would struggle under the weight of this. One of the distinctions Williams doesn’t bring up in the context of positivism is that it is often strongly contrasted with ‘normative’ – where ‘scientific theories’ are generally understood as wanting to be on the side of the positive, rather than on the side of the ‘normative’ – they want to be square, but not square by convention. I think positivism works as a ‘scientific’ idea if what it is discussing is more about bicycles than rats – something I’ve stolen from someone I read a while ago. That is, positivism works where we can say ‘all things being equal’. For ‘all things being equal’ to be a reasonable thing to say implies that you can hold a single variable constant while you turn the other dial from side-to-side like a madman. Positivism works when you can take something apart, checking each of the bits you dismantle as you go so as to consider their independent value, and then, at your leisure, put the whole thing back together again. You know, like you can do with a bicycle. But not everything in the world is like a bicycle. Some things are more like rats. And rats really don’t like it when you start dismantling them. Chop the leg off a rat and even if you are able to remove some of the arthritis from around the knee, the rat as a whole still isn’t going to thank you for it. And even if you stick the leg back on almost as quickly as you removed it, the rat still might die from the trauma. Complex systems don’t have independent ‘parts’ – all things simply aren’t ‘equal’. Even when you can, Humpty-Dumpty-like, put the pieces back together again, the system as a whole might never get back to being right-angled – or even normal. I enjoyed this book, and I think it is still worth reading, even if it is getting a bit old, like the rest of us. And I learnt quite a lot along the way – things I hadn’t expected to learn. For example, I used to teach a subject on curriculum studies and would tell people that the three main ideas you need to learn in educational theory are curriculum, pedagogy and assessment – I stole (always steal, never borrow) this straight from Bernstein – but it is no less valuable for being stolen. Anyway, each of these words has a curious etymology. Pedagogy is from Greek for someone who accompanies a child – literally, ‘a boy guide’. Assessment is from Latin for ‘to sit beside’. Curriculum is also from Latin but it means ‘running track’. In this book, Williams tells me that ‘Career’ is from the same root as curriculum – which had never occurred to me. All of which made me wonder if the current shifts in how we work and study will encourage us to stop using ‘career’ and ‘curriculum’ – since ‘fixed courses’ is about as close to the opposite of what we will be facing as it is possible to think of. In his section on Labour he quotes something my mother has told me for most of my life, that the Bible tells us we live for three-score-and-ten years – something she fortunately seems to have forgotten since turning 70. It seems the Bible does say that, except what she never told me was that the Bible also effectively says ‘and that’s when you should die or bad stuff is about to happen’. The whole quote is: "The days of our years are threescore and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow." (Psalm 90:10) Basically, live until you are 70, and all will be good – live until you are 80 and you might have preferred to have died at 70. I bought this book years ago in a church hall when I was on the way to see a friend and had some time to kill. I meant to read it at the time, but you know how these things work out. All the same, I think it would have been a better book for me to have read in my 20s than 50s. Before I end, I want to stress something that Williams also stresses in this little book. He certainly isn’t saying that if we are only able to gain consensus, to achieve consistent definitions of the words we use, then all (or even most or even many) of our disputes will simply fall away. He is also not saying the opposite of this – that the meanings of words are completely relative and depend purely on who is using the words. Rather I think he is saying that trying to understand what the person you are talking to might mean when they use certain words may not resolve the disagreements between you both – but that it is unlikely to make matters worse – and that’s probably as close to a good thing as we can hope for.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Only Raymond Williams could write what amounts to an enjoyable dictionary. Though the book isn't necessarily meant to be read cover to cover, my "project" of reading one letter a day over the past month has been an enlightening, engaging, and sometimes surprising one. More generally, Williams' impulse in writing this has to be praised. Originally an appendix to Culture and Society, what became Keywords was then so massive he decided to publish it separately. As always, in disentangling the meani Only Raymond Williams could write what amounts to an enjoyable dictionary. Though the book isn't necessarily meant to be read cover to cover, my "project" of reading one letter a day over the past month has been an enlightening, engaging, and sometimes surprising one. More generally, Williams' impulse in writing this has to be praised. Originally an appendix to Culture and Society, what became Keywords was then so massive he decided to publish it separately. As always, in disentangling the meaning of terms and concepts that are often taken for granted, Williams hopes to problematize our understandings of meaning. He insists that his is not a project, in fact, about meaning. Rather, it is about meanings (plural), which -- when unpacked and made visible -- do not bring about resolution but "just that extra edge of consciousness" (p.24). At its most basic level, that is exactly what this book is -- simultaneously and meditation and enumeration of the evolving contingencies of language that encourages us to see the connection between words and ideology.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Carl Ludwig Dorsch

    A personal, Anglocentric, left and lit-crit focused dictionary of 110 terms, ranging from ‘Aesthetic’ to ‘Work,’ each given one to eight pages of etymological, political and cultural history reaching occasionally beyond the 16th century but with emphasis on current (as of 1976), 18th, 19th and mid 20th century usage. Each small essay works quickly through the turns (according to Williams) of history with its own idiosyncratic shorthand and in a manner that though regularly illuminating often, A personal, Anglocentric, left and lit-crit focused dictionary of 110 terms, ranging from ‘Aesthetic’ to ‘Work,’ each given one to eight pages of etymological, political and cultural history reaching occasionally beyond the 16th century but with emphasis on current (as of 1976), 18th, 19th and mid 20th century usage. Each small essay works quickly through the turns (according to Williams) of history with its own idiosyncratic shorthand and in a manner that though regularly illuminating often, perhaps because of Williams’ unqualified abbreviation, sows hints of doubt as to the depth and full trustworthiness of its historical research. As an instance, the entry for ‘Socialist’ (five pages) runs through the word’s emergence in “eC19” (early 19th century), through alternate terms (mutualist, associationist, phalansterian), the changing uses of socialist and communist up to and beyond the Bolshevik revolution, a similar history of ‘Anarchism,’ and then, quickly, notes on ‘Militant,’ ‘Nihilist,’ and finally ‘Left,’ ‘lefty’ and ‘leftism.’ The book’s longest entry seems to be on ‘Class.’ A work in Williams’ manner, but tuned to the turns of 21st century American usage (‘liberal,’ ‘conservative,’ ‘terrorist,’ ‘populist,’ etc.) might be enlightening – more so, I would hope (or at least less pretentiously), than the 2005 collaborative reworking of “Keywords,” Blackwell Publishing’s “New Keywords: A Revised Vocabulary of Culture and Society,” an unsatisfying creature of the cultural studies world Williams helped engender.

  4. 4 out of 5

    رائد الجشي

    مالدي هو ترجمة نعيمان عثمان دار المركز الثقافي العربي وهويحمل اشارات لللعديد من الكلمات الانجليزية ونا صاحبها من تغير دلالي عبر التاريخ وسبب ذلك التحول قد يكون الكتاب لغويا الى انه ثري بمعلومات تاريخية ايضا حين يتعرض لسبب اشتقاق الكلمات من اللاتينية ومتى كان ظهور ذات الكلمة مثلا حين يتعرض لكلمة فرد Individual يوضح اصل المعنى الذي وضعت له وكيف تم اشتقاقها من كلمة لاتينية وسطى ثم متى استخدمة كمفردة لترجمة كلمة يونانية يذكرها المؤلف ومعناها واين يوجد معناها يشير الى وجودها بمعنى متحول في الجدل الثيولوجي ال مالدي هو ترجمة نعيمان عثمان دار المركز الثقافي العربي وهويحمل اشارات لللعديد من الكلمات الانجليزية ونا صاحبها من تغير دلالي عبر التاريخ وسبب ذلك التحول قد يكون الكتاب لغويا الى انه ثري بمعلومات تاريخية ايضا حين يتعرض لسبب اشتقاق الكلمات من اللاتينية ومتى كان ظهور ذات الكلمة مثلا حين يتعرض لكلمة فرد Individual يوضح اصل المعنى الذي وضعت له وكيف تم اشتقاقها من كلمة لاتينية وسطى ثم متى استخدمة كمفردة لترجمة كلمة يونانية يذكرها المؤلف ومعناها واين يوجد معناها يشير الى وجودها بمعنى متحول في الجدل الثيولوجي القروسطي خاصة في ما يتعلق ب وحدة الثالوث وكذلك معناها في خطاب الكنيسة الكاثلوكية مع تدعيم الترجمة بالجمل الانجليزية المهمة في الاصل ثم يعرض لتطور معنى الكلمة في خطابات علماء ومفكرين ويتنقل بين الفيزياء والبيلوجيا الحديثة والاثر النغير في الخطابات السياسية الكناب ثري جدا للمهتم باللغة والتاريخ وان كان يخلو من الاثارة في صياغته

  5. 4 out of 5

    sologdin

    part leftist glossary, part sustained argument, if all the q.v. notices are followed with rigor.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Morris

    If you've ever felt confused by the seeming under-definition but over-use of political words like "liberal", "socialist", and "bourgeois"; or wondered why exactly certain flavors or mechanisms of philosophy like "pragmatism", "empiricism", "dialectic", or "rationality" are named the way they are, and how that change has happened throughout time, or how sometimes conflicting uses are exploited for specific rhetorical purposes, then this is your book. Personally I am a science major and lawyer, wh If you've ever felt confused by the seeming under-definition but over-use of political words like "liberal", "socialist", and "bourgeois"; or wondered why exactly certain flavors or mechanisms of philosophy like "pragmatism", "empiricism", "dialectic", or "rationality" are named the way they are, and how that change has happened throughout time, or how sometimes conflicting uses are exploited for specific rhetorical purposes, then this is your book. Personally I am a science major and lawyer, who is now taking the time in his 40s to start reading a lot more books in the humanities. Having Williams' book is an expansion of words that are often used without having been explained, and he does a very excellent job of giving precision to these terms that are often ubiquitous within the humanities but not within the common language. Or perhaps worse, they are in common language, but have a different meaning as within particular domains of the humanities. Although it was written in 1976, and is based deeply on the Oxford English Dictionary (which is itself more of a historical then-current document for purposes of etymology, as Williams himself explains) this is still a deeply valuable book in 2019 because you have to get caught up on what these words meant throughout time, which influences how they are used in the present day. If words are tools that we used to make sense of and communicate about the world, then this book is a meta-tool for inspecting those tools. And perhaps sharpening them in some cases; but more often just realizing upon inspection that some words are just irredeemably blunt after centuries of conflicting use and abuse.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jin

    I miss Ricky the Rock.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Daisy

    i love raymond williams, he is a lad, what a champ.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gavin

    A list of definitions (and etymologies) of the vague, overloaded, and pompous language used in the humanities. Reading this early in my degree made me able to talk: it relaxed the paralysis that is the natural (and perhaps intended) response to their famous walls of jargon. If you've ever felt there was something to area studies and critical theory, but that the inferential distance was too costly to justify the effort, this is the book for you. (Or, it was thirty years ago. They'll have invented A list of definitions (and etymologies) of the vague, overloaded, and pompous language used in the humanities. Reading this early in my degree made me able to talk: it relaxed the paralysis that is the natural (and perhaps intended) response to their famous walls of jargon. If you've ever felt there was something to area studies and critical theory, but that the inferential distance was too costly to justify the effort, this is the book for you. (Or, it was thirty years ago. They'll have invented thousands more ill-defined words since then.) I imagine it would also be good for very ambitious adult English learners. Williams is a sarcastic, clever and friendly guide: I can't remember which top-rank word he describes as "better for it never to have been", but here's a good entry: 'Nature' is perhaps the most complex word in the language. It is relatively easy to distinguish three areas of meaning: (i) the essential quantity and character of something; (ii) the inherent force which directs either the world or human beings or both; (iii) the material world itself, taken as including or not including human beings. Yet it is evident that within (ii) and (iii), though the area of reference is broadly clear, precise meanings are variable and at times even opposed. The historical development of the word through these three senses is important, but it is also significant that all three senses, and the main variations and alternatives within the two most difficult of them, are still active and widespread in contemporary usage. was (i), the essential character and quality of something. Nature is thus one of several important words, including culture, which began as descriptions of a quality or process, immediately defined by a specific reference, but later became independent nouns... The common phrase human nature, often crucial in important kinds of argument, can contain, without clearly demonstrating it, any of the three main senses and indeed the main variations and alternatives. There is a relatively neutral use in sense (i): that it is an essential quality and characteristic of human beings to do something (though the something that is specified may of course be controversial). But in many uses the descriptive (and hence verifiable or falsifiable) character of sense (i) is less prominent than the very different kind of statement which depends on sense (ii), the directing inherent force, or one of the variants of sense (iii), a fixed property of the material world, in this case ‘natural man’. What has also to be noticed in the relation between sense (i) and senses (ii) and (iii) is, more generally, that sense (i), by definition, is a specific singular - the nature of something, whereas senses (ii) and (iii), in almost all their uses, are abstract singulars - the nature of all things having become singular nature or Nature... There was then a practice of shifting use, as in Shakespeare’s Lear: Allow not nature more than nature needs, Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s ... one daughter / Who redeems nature from the general curse Which twain have brought her to. That nature, which contemns its origin Cannot be border’d certain in itself... It could seem wrong to inquire into the workings of an absolute monarch, or of a minister of God. But a formula was arrived at: to understand the creation was to praise the Creator, seeing absolute power through contingent works. In practice the formula became lip-service and was then forgotten. Paralleling political changes, nature was altered from an absolute to a constitutional monarch, with a new kind of emphasis on natural laws. Nature, in C18 and C19, was often in effect personified as a constitutional lawyer. The laws came from somewhere, and this was variously but often indifferently defined; most practical attention was given to interpreting and classifying the laws, making predictions from precedents, discovering or reviving forgotten statutes, and above all shaping new laws from new cases: nature not as an inherent and shaping force but as an accumulation and classification of cases. The complexity of the word is hardly surprising, given the fundamental importance of the processes to which it refers. But since nature is a word which carries, over a very long period, many of the major variations of human thought - often, in any particular use, only implicitly yet with powerful effect on the character of the argument - it is necessary to be especially aware of its difficulty.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael Granquist

    A must own for students of philosophy or the history of critical thought. Most of the words discussed are heavy nouns, like "culture" and "radical." Williams discusses how the usage of such words has changed over time in a way that imbues them with poetic power. A must own for students of philosophy or the history of critical thought. Most of the words discussed are heavy nouns, like "culture" and "radical." Williams discusses how the usage of such words has changed over time in a way that imbues them with poetic power.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    Raymond Williams is cultural studies what Eddie Van Halen is to two-handed tappers!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jason ("jcreed")

    Pretty readable for, you know, a glossary.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Clivemichael

    Fascinating but dry. Deeply researched and explained. Worth revisiting From the description of NATURE: "What can be seen as an uncertainty, was also a tension: nature was at once innocent, unprovided, sure, unsure, fruitful, destructive, a pure force and tainted and cursed. The real complexity of natural processes has been rendered by a complexity within the single term. Fascinating but dry. Deeply researched and explained. Worth revisiting From the description of NATURE: "What can be seen as an uncertainty, was also a tension: nature was at once innocent, unprovided, sure, unsure, fruitful, destructive, a pure force and tainted and cursed. The real complexity of natural processes has been rendered by a complexity within the single term.

  14. 4 out of 5

    szymborskalyte

    I’ve learned by now that when Raymond Williams says that a word is one of the “most difficult” in the English language what he really means is that it’s one of the most difficult for him. Difficulty is particular to the subject. No hate though, the book is lively and quite interesting.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    An excellent look at how to facilitate the discussion of vocabulary in context with the historical developments of society and culture.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    i finally understand what praxis means

  17. 4 out of 5

    大卫 陈

    通过词汇的词源学、文学的探索,将文化与社会阐释的十分透彻。大学时在图书馆认真读过这本书。

  18. 4 out of 5

    Julia Deptuła

    *lit theories*

  19. 4 out of 5

    Otillaf

    A word a day keeps the doctor away...What a fine and interesting cultural vocabulary!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Erica Eller

    One of those books whose bibliography genuinely interested me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Glass River

    I gave this book 2 stars, out of appreciation rather than enjoyment. It’s thoroughly, exhaustively, meticulously researched. The book explores how the meaning of each single word changes and/or develops into other meanings over time in relation to social/ideological circumstances. But unless you’re an etymologist/historian, chances are, you will not find it truly enjoyable. For a book about keywords in modern society, there are surprisingly few examples, few stories, and few engaging passages re I gave this book 2 stars, out of appreciation rather than enjoyment. It’s thoroughly, exhaustively, meticulously researched. The book explores how the meaning of each single word changes and/or develops into other meanings over time in relation to social/ideological circumstances. But unless you’re an etymologist/historian, chances are, you will not find it truly enjoyable. For a book about keywords in modern society, there are surprisingly few examples, few stories, and few engaging passages really pertinent to the present day. Many times, while wading through long-winded listings of the same-different shades of one word through centuries and obscure examples from out-dated literature, i had to ask myself ‘where the hell is this going, and when will it get to the present time in which I’m living?’ The author has a habit of voicing his *opinions* (e.g. “this is interesting”), very often when I want to form opinions for myself, while rarely offers illuminating *explanations/speculations* regarding the etymology of the words. He also adopts an academic writing style that is often dry, cold, distant, extremely esoteric and abstract. Whether this tactic is appropriate and effective in discussing keywords in culture and media - the areas that are often linked to stimulating, exciting, and emotionally engaging ideas, each reader has to decide for themselves. For me, I did learn something from this book, but i found its tedious erudition backfires upon itself, siphoning off the joy of etymology learning in the process.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anom Astika

    Aku ingat sekitar tahun 1990 an di Surabaya. Sebuah makalah karya Michael van Langenberg yang diberikan oleh seorang dosen Dr. Dede Oetomo kepadaku. Makalah itu cukup unik karena seperti kamus kata kata politik rejim Orde Baru. Makalah itu kemudian ku terjemahkan dan ku terbitkan secara indie sebagai pamflet untuk kawan kawan aktivis mahasiswa di bawah nama penerbit Kelompok Studi Sumber Rejeki. Saat menerjemahkannya, Pak Dede memberikan buku Keywords ini yang ternyata menjadi sumber inspirasi M Aku ingat sekitar tahun 1990 an di Surabaya. Sebuah makalah karya Michael van Langenberg yang diberikan oleh seorang dosen Dr. Dede Oetomo kepadaku. Makalah itu cukup unik karena seperti kamus kata kata politik rejim Orde Baru. Makalah itu kemudian ku terjemahkan dan ku terbitkan secara indie sebagai pamflet untuk kawan kawan aktivis mahasiswa di bawah nama penerbit Kelompok Studi Sumber Rejeki. Saat menerjemahkannya, Pak Dede memberikan buku Keywords ini yang ternyata menjadi sumber inspirasi Michael van Langenberg dalam membuat makalah tersebut. Sangat menarik ketika membaca buku Raymond Williams ini sembari menerjemahkan makalah itu. Perspektif sejarah yang ditawarkan oleh Raymond Williams menunjukkan bahwa setiap kata bahasa politik selalu mempunyai konteks peristiwa, dan di dalam setiap peristiwa terjadi perubahan makna kata dari yang asli ke yang bentukan baru. Wajib bagi para aktivis politik untuk membaca buku ini, bukan sebagai petunjuk praktis, tetapi sebagai cara untuk merumuskan gagasan politik.

  23. 4 out of 5

    John

    Williams, more than any other theorist or critic, was my inspiration is grad school and beyond -- possibly because he was the most humanist of the Cultural Theory Gods, possibly just because he was the most lucid (and, possibly, those two things are related). Though other books of his had a greater impact in my thinking -- especially Television: Technology and Cultural Form and Marxism and Literature -- Keywords, which is essentially an OED of the major terms and ideas on Cultural Studies, was i Williams, more than any other theorist or critic, was my inspiration is grad school and beyond -- possibly because he was the most humanist of the Cultural Theory Gods, possibly just because he was the most lucid (and, possibly, those two things are related). Though other books of his had a greater impact in my thinking -- especially Television: Technology and Cultural Form and Marxism and Literature -- Keywords, which is essentially an OED of the major terms and ideas on Cultural Studies, was indispensible in helping understand just what he, and I, were trying to get at.

  24. 4 out of 5

    flaams

    I feel like this compendium is just as relevant as the original piece of philosophy. Without this, half of the vocabulary used by Raymond Williams in his other commentary.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Signature103

    A great little book on the history of (cultural code)words, that of the English language. Simple and succinct. A must for anyone's bookshelf. A great little book on the history of (cultural code)words, that of the English language. Simple and succinct. A must for anyone's bookshelf.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kenny

    "City" "City"

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mckinley

    Really shouldn't say I've read it. I haven't, not completely. I've skimmed and read some entries. Defining use over time, history and meaning of words. Excellent. Really shouldn't say I've read it. I haven't, not completely. I've skimmed and read some entries. Defining use over time, history and meaning of words. Excellent.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jack Coleman

    If you like the language and its etymologize this books for you.

  29. 5 out of 5

    David Joseph

    Awesome example of historical critical methodology. It's really helped shake me out of a persistent word fetishism. Awesome example of historical critical methodology. It's really helped shake me out of a persistent word fetishism.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karim

    wish i had read this ~2 years ago

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