Monday, August 18, 2008

Zombies and Other Books

I was at Barnes & Noble when I spotted this:

I thought of my son, who has this thing for zombies (and ancient maps--usually not at the same time). He'd love it. I looked it over, and the tip I still remember is their advice to use our heads, because zombies aren't sharp thinkers.

It's perfect, because you never know...

I wandered around and on the Under $10 rack I saw several classics--not the classic-classics, but better.

The first was The Meaning of Tingo: And Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World.

I've never heard the word, tingo, but they had the definition on the cover:

tingo (Pascuense, Easter Island) to take all the objects one desires from the house of a friend, one at a time, by borrowing them.

We all know people like this. Now you know the name for it.

Here's another one, but there isn't much need for it in America:

nakhur (Persian) a camel that won't give milk until its nostrils are tickled.

If you want this book, it's cheaper in the store than online.

Another book caught my eye because I took French in school. French for Le Snob: Adding Panache to Your Everyday Conversations is sold out online in hardback, but it might still be on the shelf in the store, and the hardback is cheaper than the paperback, which is available online. Here's an excerpt from the synopsis:

Written for sophisticated English speakers who enjoy being in the limelight as they tittle-tattle about la femme fatale, la belle brunette, l'enfant terrible, and la crème de la crème, while drinking a café noir in their pied-à-terre, this reference also covers the origins of the English language, the development of American English, and how French words invaded English speech.

How formidable!

Keep in mind, I have not read these books, so I can't vouch for their readability. But if you're in the mood for something quirky, one of these just might do the trick for the mood you're in.


Malott said...

I would also add and recommend "Amo, Amas, Amat"... All those Latin sayings at your fingertips without having to study a dead (and decaying) language.

SkyePuppy said...


That sounds great! I know quid pro quo and Et tu, Brute, but I could use a little more help...

Malott said...


Make sure you read it "ab initio."

Tsofah said...

Mademoiselle Skyepuppy:

About the book: "Je ne sais pas!" In high school, Sooooooo many years ago, I took two courses in Francais, and learned just enough to get in trouble. "Je parle francais en peu".

I learned a couple of not so complimentary phrases, and such.

The challenges from learning from a book include correct pronounciation. I'll never forget when one of my classmates tried to get the attention of a waiter in a restaurant. He was supposed to say

"Garcon s'il vous plait" - pronounced "garsone sil vou play"

Instead, he said "Gar con silver plate".

Now THAT brought some laughs!

Malott: I'll skip the Latin, and try to stick with what little of that and Greek I learned in medical terminology.

As for me...ah, let me continue to learn Hebrew!

SkyePuppy said...


Your story reminds me of a time in my first year of French (7th grade). One of the girls was trying to say Tuesday, but she mispronounced it. Our teacher told us that what she said is "something that, if you're not careful, you might step in it."

We all opened our eyes wide and made sure to remember that word!

Bekah said...

You have made me want to go just sit in a bookstore and breathe books....I haven't done that in the longest time. :(

That really is one of my most favorite things to do in life - to just BE with books. Ones for sale, not ones in a library. I love everything about it.

SkyePuppy said...


"Breathe books." What a perfect term. Even if I don't buy any books, a bookstore tells me I could. Not like a library, which tells me I must give the books back. Sigh!

Enjoy your breathing...