Love language? Join us for some highly interactive fun, as we explore the sometimes-tangled roots of words in our lexicon. The class format is a series of word quizzes that we will discuss in class, all based on etymology, followed by lectures delving into the topic of each quiz. Here’s a sampler of what we’ll cover: acronyms, contronyms, cryptograms, diacritics, doublets, eponyms, folk etymologies, Hobson-Jobson words, homophones, Indo-European roots, loan words, neologisms, pictographs, pidgins, portmanteau words, retronyms, and toponyms.

Stewart Edelstein, who creates digital word quizzes for Merriam-Webster’s website, is the author of Dubious Doublets: A Delightful Compendium of Unlikely Word Pairs of Common Origin (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). He has taught two OLLI courses, “Whence Our Words” and “Battle of the Sexes”, and has been a guest wordsmith for Anu Garg’s website, A Word A Day. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and Cornell Law School. During his forty-year career as a trial lawyer, he taught clinical courses at Yale Law School for twenty years.

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OLLI: the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College
Partners in education with Williams College, Bard College at Simon's Rock and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

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