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A Browser's Dictionary by John Ciardi (HB 1980) Harper & Row
Esteemed poet, translator, critic, and author of children's books, John Ciardi devoted a good part of his later literary career to the "word rambles" that, collected in his Browser's Dictionaries, take us on a wonderfully winding path through the landscape of language. His three compendiums of curious expressions and intriguing facts are enlivened by a reader's inquisitiveness and a writer's ingenuity. In these pages you'll discover the bitter herb at the root of sardonic, the Biblical fly in the ointment, what provides the pleasure in happy as a clam, and hundreds of other insights into our linguistic heritage.