Friday, June 12, 2009

I Got the Horse Book Right Here

Sound the horn! My sister and her husband, who are always off to the races, have written a book. It’s fun, short, and reasonably priced, and it’s called Off to a Flying Start: Horsing Around the Language.

The text offers a sample of 61 popular expressions—nothing encyclopedic, just some of C. and B.'s favorites—and explains their origins in horse racing.

If you read this book, you will learn what nefarious doings the term get your goat refers to and what it means to start from scratch.

The book made me realize that language tells a story. I was moved to realize how many traces of horse racing and the rural culture it once belonged to still linger in our speech.

If I were a horse, I might say that Off to a Flying Start’s definitions are as sweet and nutritious as carrots—and the delightful comic illustrations by Ana Mirela Tache make me feel as if I’ve just been slipped a few sugar cubes on the side.

You can buy it here. Or here.

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