A publisher’s blurb

First things first: allow me, please, to apologize for beginning this blog with an Americanism. (I cannot be feeling quite myself.) For, according to the Shorter Oxford ED, ‘blurb’, meaning ‘a publisher’s commendatory advertisement of a book’ entered the language there (in 1924).

Frustrating and fascinating, this language of ours, is it not? It keeps changing. And adding new words: at the latest count the full Oxford English Dictionary has over 301,000 principal entries. In 2015 the lexicon was expanded by several hundred more. Apparently ‘manspreading’, whatever that is, now warrants an entry. As does ‘wine o’clock’, much more to my taste (Brunello di Montalcino or Barbera d’Asti please …).

Anyway, I digress, for my bright, shiny new blog is not about the English language. Well, not entirely anyway. What it is really about it the world of publishing today … the writing, editing and designing of books. And about publishing as a career.

There will be serious posts, for sure, but also some whimsy. For now, and lest you get bored, I leave you with my absolutely favourite history ‘howler’ of all time:

‘Queen Elizabeth I found it difficult to concentrate on foreign policy with Mary Queen of Scots hoovering in the background.’


Author: Alistair Hodge

Hi I've been a non-fiction book publisher since 1984 and now also teach publishing at the University of Derby (new MA Publishing beginning September 2016 http://www.derby.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/publishing-ma/; and from 2017 undergraduate courses too).

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