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20 July 2009

Monday's Word





Is your book
'unputdownable'?
That's what we writers all aspire to write isn't it? A book that's 'Unputdownable'

But where does the term originate from? It's a fairly recent, 'made up' word, surely. Well according to Michael Quinion, "the earliest example mentioned is usually the one in a letter byRaymond Chandler, dated 5 January 1947, because that's the first citation in the entry in the Oxford English Dictionary."

Apparently, there are earlier examples, though in a slightly different sense, i.e., someone who can resist being 'put down' or 'taken down a peg or two'. However, the modern sense is of a book that's so good you can't stop reading it .

So what books have you read lately that are absolutely 'unputdownable'?



*Thanks to Michael Quinion of WORLD WIDE WORDSWorld Wide Words is copyright (c) Michael Quinion 2009. All rights reserved. The Words Web site is at http://www.worldwidewords.org