Being an Inquiry Into the Lives of Those Persons Who Have Lent Their Names to the English Language
by Nancy Caldwell Sorel
Word People contains snippets of stories about people whose names have become common nouns, and how that happened. Some of them I had always suspected came from a person's name, many more I had no idea they had such origins. It is fascinating, and written with plenty of humor as well. The text is accompanied by expressive pen and ink illustrations by Edward Sorel, which I found hilarious in and of themselves. The book got a little tedious in parts; it was one I had to read in small segments, over more than a weeks' time, but curiosity kept me continuing to the end. If you're interested in the history of language, or wonder about how people got their names worked into everyday usage (although quite a few have fallen out of use by now), I recommend this book. I'm sorry that I can't recall any of the particular words themselves; I'd love to share some examples! But this book doesn't reside at my public library, and it's been several years since I had it in hand. Still, I remember it fondly enough to want to mention it here.
Rating: 3/5 ........ 304 pages, 1970
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