News Release

Southeastern professor's vocabulary book listed among ‘Best of 2011’

Contact: Rene Abadie


     HAMMOND – A vocabulary book authored by Southeastern Louisiana University English Professor Norman German has been cited as one of the “Best of 2011” by Kirkus Reviews, an American book review magazine that serves the book and literary trade sector.
     German’s “The Word on Words: The Play of Language” was recognized in the magazine as first in the “Best of Indie” Arts and Letters category and fourth in non-fiction for books produced by independent publishers.
     Published in June, “The Word on Words” takes an innovative and interactive approach to vocabulary building and is considered an ideal general text for students preparing for aptitude or admissions tests, such as the SAT or ACT. The book uses humor and etymology – the actual word origins from foreign languages – as memory devices to help build a more dynamic vocabulary. More than 1,500 words are defined in a wide range of areas through the use of fascinating and humorous essays about their origins and roots.
     Kirkus Reviews describes the book as “lively, informative and thoroughly beguiling,” and said, “The author introduces readers to some of the knottier words in the language through an approach that mixes analysis, history and lots of engaging anecdotes. His method is to seize on dusty old lexical roots, usually from Latin but also from Greek, Old English, Norse and French, and to follow their branchings through the modern English words derived from them. It’s a fun read that sparkles with photographs, bright colors and crazy-quilt fonts; but this smorgasbord is still a serious textbook; readers will gain not just a store of factoids but a sharpened ability to analyze new words and a deeper appreciation for the history and beauty of the language.”
     The book is available through

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