Category Archives: Random

The Road to Little Dribbling: Bill Bryson

travels in my own country

Travelling Companions 2

I seem to have decided on the pattern of reviewing these from most recently read and working backwards. Actually I’ve been enjoying the sunshine too much and haven’t had much inclination to sit, for more than a minute or two, in front of a computer screen if nobody’s paying me. This is one of my occasional extended reviews from Goodreads. Don’t be fooled by the unimpressed nature of the piece. Like many of you I am a big fan of Bill Bryson. I just don’t think much of this book. If you haven’t read any Bryson before and you’ve got a train or plane to catch then it will pass the time quite nicely. If you haven’t read any Bryson before, and there is a choice between this book and any other that he has written…choose the other.

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Here’s the review.

He’s become the Paul McCartney of travel…

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The Etymology of a Book

Kristen Twardowski

We think of books as being filled with words and ideas, but they themselves are also a word and an odd one that. So how did the English word “book” come to be?

The term originated from several linguistic paths. Its closest relative is the Old English word bōc, which also meant book. As German speakers may guess, bōc shares a root with the Old Saxon word bôk and Old High German word buoh. The original meaning of these words was not “book” as we know it today, but rather referenced some sort of “writing-tablet, leaf, or sheet.”

Linguists believe that the various iterations of these terms are related to the Old English term bóc and Old Norse term bók, both of which reference beech trees. It is suggested that early written works may have been drafted on paper or tablets made from the bark of beech trees. It…

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