on March 23, 2000
This little book (from Merriam Webster, the big dictionary people) is definitely fun. It is part of a series about how words have been used in different times and places. This volume concentrates on the words "invented" by Shakespeare - the authors estimate that there are in the vicinity of 1,500 such words and this book probably includes a couple hundred examples. Admittedly, there is lots of room for judgement here and sometimes the authors note that, but many times they state theories as fact. This tendency keeps my rating below five stars. The book is organized with a chapter for each letter of the alphabet - and a Shakespeare trivia quiz at the end of each chapter. Again, fun, but beware of theories - on the other hand, maybe one of these questions will make it to "Do You Want To Be A Millionaire?". It is not a book for reading straight through, but it is perfect to fill short periods here and there that keep you waiting. You will be amazed at the words included such as ADVERTISING, ALLIGATOR, INVESTMENT, OBSCENE, PUKE, PUPPY DOG and ZANY. There are also some examples that you probably won't recognize. The text gives sites for the usage in Shakespeare's plays. If you are interested enough in this subject to have made it to the end of this review, then buy it, its worth the price.