Alpha Better Juice

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Roy Blount, Jr., talks about the “etymological goulash” that always simmers on the back burner of his mind. His new book Alpha Better Juice is full of his dexterous wordplay, linguistic tricks and his particular take on language.


Roy Blount, Jr.

Comments [13]

Mary Ann from Wayne, NJ

I believe Amazon began paying royalties to authors on Kindle in June 2010. Authors can choose a 70% (of list price) royalty option.

May. 17 2011 02:33 PM

Give him a little pat on the back.

May. 17 2011 12:41 PM

Is Roy ok?

May. 17 2011 12:41 PM

In reference to sports writting there is a great quote from Sugar Ray Leonard,
(Paraphrased) "I'm blessed, your blessed, we are all blessed by God. My blessing is that I'm good at hitting people"

May. 17 2011 12:33 PM
Theresa from Brooklyn

I'm sitting here giggling. Leonard, you are so funny sometimes! You're a worthy match for Mr. Blount.

May. 17 2011 12:32 PM

Phoebe, you might enjoy Ken Nordine's "Colors." It's an album of fun beat poetry giving personalities to colors. (And he pronounces it like Leonard, incidentally.)

"Mauve is a character
As colorful as characters can come
But in a quiet, quiet way.
Mauve is as quiet as a mute.
Doesn't give a hoot
Should have been an owl

Here's a link:

May. 17 2011 12:30 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I think the way the sounds of "scrimp" & "splurge" reflect their meaning has to do with the way vowels pronounced with the mouth more closed somehow sound smaller/more restricted than vowels pronounced with the mouth more open. For example, "tiny" is small, but "teeny" is even smaller. In the same way, "scrimp" means keeping a grip on your money & "splurge" means letting go of it.

May. 17 2011 12:28 PM
Gary from Upper Left Side

I don't like the word "razed" (like the house was razed to the ground). "Razed" sounds exactly like "raised", but is almost the opposite meaning--almost (down vs. up).

May. 17 2011 12:28 PM
Kurt Opprecht from Manhattan

How about words like "pulchritude" which sound the opposite of what they mean?

May. 17 2011 12:24 PM
RJ from prospect hts

*Please* don't blame the editors, copyeditors (the pros, that is) for Karl Rove's awful first sentence. They may well have caught it--but the authors *do not* have to listen! I work in the industry, and the number of times I've seen things they left they caught ... It breaks *our* hearts even more than wise readers like Roy Blount Jr., because we really, really try ...

May. 17 2011 12:22 PM
Phoebe from Bushwick

I have always disliked the word "mauve" because it sounds so unlike the color it describes.

May. 17 2011 12:19 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Or maybe "devour and improve" is a reference to coffee beans that have been through a civet cat's digestive tract.

May. 17 2011 12:19 PM
Alvin from Manhattan

Oldie but goodie:
A man takes his torn pants to a Greek tailor to have them mended.
Tailor: Euripedes?
Customer: Yes. Eumenides?

May. 17 2011 12:17 PM

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