‘Alphabet Juice’

‘Alphabet Juice’

I’m really enjoying “Alphabet Juice” by the estimable Roy Blount Jr. It’s a kind of visit, in alphabetical order and drawing on fascinating and sometimes funny sources, with words that interest him – and truly, he never (well, hardly ever) met a word he didn’t like.

He takes the book’s epigraph from an interchange between Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Ali G and linguistics expert Noam Chomsky (yeah, I know he’s anti-Israel, but that has nothing to do with this very funny conversation, in which the breaktakingly dumb Ali G gets the better of the professor).

Ali G.::
How many words does you know?

Noam Chomsky:
Normally, humans, by maturity, have tens of thousands of them.

Ali G:
What is some of ’em?