WORDSLUT by Amanda Montell
Updated: Feb 18
This is not my usual read - I usually stick to YA fantasy or fiction. But, recently I started to become interested in etymology - or, the study of a word's origins and how its meaning has changed over time. So, I saw this book my Amanda Montell and I knew I had to read it.
This book was so interesting. I learned so much while I was reading and I added a whole bunch of words into my dictionary tracker on my reading app. I learned that some cultures outside of the mainstream are far more accepting of gender and its meanings. For example, in South Asia call a person whose birth sex is male but who identifies as female or as neither male nor female is called a "hijra." While we still have a long way to go in accepting transgender people, it makes me happy to learn that we are still moving forward.
This book also touched on "filler" words that are usually associated with women, such as "like," "you know," and "um," and how they are actually not just placeholders and have meanings. It talked about how language is actively changing and how minority groups are usually the ones that spark the changes. It even has an entire chapter talking about gendered insults and phrases and where they actually came from.
Montell weaves such an amazing read that I was hooked until the very end. When I first finished this book, I wasn't even sure what to write about it - all I could think about was how good this book was. Even now I am finding it hard to think of what to say for Montell's work other than this: GO READ IT.
My favorite quote is below!
"If you want to insult a woman, call her a prostitute. If you want to insult a man, call him a woman."