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Language Arts & Disciplines General

Take My Words

A Wordaholic's Guide to the English Language

by (author) Howard Richler

Ronsdale Press
Initial publish date
Jun 1996
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 1996
    List Price

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In this lively and informative book, Howard Richler imparts his fascination with the richness of the language which is fast becoming the globe's newest lingua franca. Filled with surprises about the language we use everyday, Take My Words offers information about the history of words, their shifting meanings, and the essential playfulness of language.

Richler includes chapters on puns, palindromes and malapropisms, and develops a series of entertaining puzzles, quizzes and word games to challenge the reader's skills. Take My Words also includes chapters on the dangers and consequences of mistranslation - from Kennedy's famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" to the bombing of Hiroshima. Ending his tour of English with a special Canadian section, Richler discusses the importance of Native languages to the Canadian experience as well as the ways in which Quebecois French has influenced English.

About the author

Howard Richler is a long-time logophile who has served as a language columnist for several newspapers and magazines. He is the author of seven previous books on language, including The Dead Sea Scroll Palindromes (1995), Take My Words:A Wordaholic’s Guide to the English Language (1996), A Bawdy Language: How a Second-Rate Language Slept its Way to the Top (1999), Global Mother Tongue: The Eight Flavours of English (2006), Can I Have a Word with You (2007), Strange Bedfellows: The Private Lives of Words (2010), How Happy Became Homosexual: And Other Mysterious Semantic Shifts (2013), and most recently, Wordplay: Arranged and Deranged Wit. Richler resides in Montreal with his partner Carol, where he struggles to be fluent not only in French but in the many flavours of the English language.You can check out his language musings and daily word puzzles on Facebook at and on Twitter @howardrichler, or visit his wordnerd blog at

Howard Richler's profile page

Other titles by Howard Richler