If you take this tome, you will have in your possession a book of revelation.
But, even with that in your hand, could you be able to handle it? I ask because this book is not for everyone.
Yes, I am saying this now. And I am saying that much. Let’s face it: etymology can—and will—bore you, unless you actually have a reason to be excited about it.
And this is how I betray my geekiness. I love etymology. It’s not just exciting. It’s revealing. It’s stunning. It’s life changing.
Now, like all etymology books, you cannot dig up the roots of words without disturbing the ground where it is found: history. Well, yes, you can discuss etymology without having to go into the nitty-gritty of the archives. But then you’d end up with only just a page or two. That wouldn’t be much of a book, would it?
Bill chose words that would appeal to the dark nature of the book. And these aren’t words that are archaic, jargon, or highfalutin. They are words that we use in casual, everyday conversations.
And that is why there’s the shock value of the actual origin of the words. They did not start out to have any of the good (or even better) meanings that they have now.
The author traces the change of definitions through the years. And he presents how his collections ended with their current denotations.
A Faded Pantheon
Words contain authority, like mini gods whose presence and power you invoke by merely uttering them. But like the gods of ages past, what and how people believe them change. So their potency changes, even their alignment changes as well.
And although they still have power in them, they’re not the same anymore.
Of course, just because you learned what a word’s original meaning is, you refer to that when you use it. But that could be a fun idea, wouldn’t it? But it is the knowledge of what they used to mean which is the actual power that is in the book.
Now what do you do with power is up to you.