Don’t Be A Gongoozler*: Win A Copy Of This Book About Obsolete Words We Should Bring Back

They're good words, Brent

Couple quick updates before we get to the book contest: 

-In case you missed it, I had a piece on New York Magazine’s website last week in which I responded to a New York Times column arguing that there’s so much damaging, hateful rhetoric out there that we need to rethink our long-held views on free speech. I disagree!

-Last week in the paid newsletter, I bemoaned the latest example of an LGBT group pushing politically expedient misinformation and unpacked the aforementioned NYT column’s comparison of hate speech to greenhouse gas. Tomorrow in the paid newsletter I’ll be explaining how one particular moment from a congresswoman’s town hall exposes the dark heart of Trumpism in a subtly disturbing and revealing way. So if you want to read that very cheerful, optimistic post, make sure to subscribe:


Book Giveaway: The Little Book of Lost Words: Collywobbles, Snollygosters, and 86 Other Surprisingly Useful Terms Worth Resurrecting by Joe Gillard

A brief apology: As a reader pointed out in an email, the last time I did a book-giveaway contest, it was timed in a way that would have made it difficult for those observing Rosh Hashanah to enter. Very silly error on my part, particularly given that I am Jewish (albeit non-practicing) and was well aware, at least in the back of my head, that it was a holiday. Sometimes my brain doesn’t work. Sorry about that and it won’t happen again.

ANYWAY, as a guy who likes words and who is good at making words do the good things with imagery and such, this book caught my eye. Here’s the publicity language from Ten Speed Press:

This collection features scores of unique words from history that deal with surprisingly modern issues like sleeping in and procrastination–proving that some things never change! The Little Book of Lost Words presents each term that’s ready to be brought back into modern-day use, complete with definition, hilarious sample sentence, and cheeky historical art. You’ll learn new words for the cozy room where you like to Netflix and chill (snuggery), for a dishonest politician (snollygoster), and for a young person who sleeps through the day and doesn’t work (dewdropper). If you like Lost in Translation, Shakespeare Insult Generator, Drunk History, and Roald Dahl–and you delight in the way words like blatteroon and flapdoodle roll off the tongue–then you’re the word lover this book was written for. Want to know what a fizgig or groke is? Read this book!

Each word has a sample sentence and painting to go with it:

A few others, with my own sample sentences:

famelicose (adj) — constantly hungry: I am famelicose for more information about Rudy Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, which in my more cynical moments strike me as potentially — God help me for besmirching such a historically upright man — corrupt!

fudgel (verb) — to pretend to work without doing anything: I wish I could fudgel around Ukraine on corrupt rich people’s dime.

popinjay (noun) — a person who dresses and acts with vanity and extravagance: Donald Trump has surrounded himself with a coterie of obsequious popinjays (some of whom have questionable ties to Ukraine).

I’ve got three copies of Lost Words for Singal-Minded subscribers, free or paid, who send an email with the subject line ‘collywobbles’ to singalminded@gmail.com by 8:00 pm Eastern tomorrow, October 16th. (Remember that whenever I have more than one copy of a book to give away, one copy is reserved for paid subscribers.)

Have a great short workweek, my loyal flooberdwizzles.*

* “A person who stares. A Nonparticipating spectator.”

** Okay, that one I just made up


Questions? Comments? More silly words? I’m at singalminded@gmail.com or on Twitter at @jessesingal.

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