Review: The Weird World of Words: A Guided Tour by Mitchell Symons


Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 26th 2015 by Zest Books
Source: Publisher

I bet you didn’t know that “griffonage” means illegible handwriting while “lalochezia” is the act of swearing to release stress or pain.

I didn’t either until I read this book. As promised, The Weird World of Words: A Guided Tour introduces the reader to all sorts of weird words, expressions, phrases etc. Symons includes metaphors and analogies children have used in their essays, unfortunate combinations of words that result in very unfortunate web addresses, and country song titles that will either make you cringe with pain or snort with laughter.

A while ago, I read and enjoyed Mark Forsyth’s and expected this work to be a bit similar but Symons’s guide does not include the commentary that I found so amusing in the Forsyth books. Though similarly thought provoking and at turns funny, as an older reader, I found that the lack of citation and mention of the sources Symons had found his material from bothered me.

That said, this title will definitely appeal to the young logophile in your life. The book presents its materials in a straightforward manner that children will appreciate. Older readers may prefer Mark Forsyth’s titles.