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The African Svelte: Ingenious Misspellings That Make Surprising Sense

Daniel Menaker and illustrated by Roz Chast
# UM0762 Hardcover, 225 pages; 2016
Currently Unavailable
In his tenure at The New Yorker, editor Daniel Menaker ran across a misspelling that struck him as poetically fitting: "African svelte," instead of "African veldt." He began to collect such unintentionally fitting linguistic blunders, and in this charming collection he presents his favorite "sveltes" - with the criteria that they be "in some way aesthetically, often visually, even philosophically pleasing to the mind's eye and to the eye's mind" - culled from books, magazines, signs, flyers, and, of course, the Internet. Each of the hundred or so entries offers Menaker's whimsical and witty rumination on the practice of "naval gazing," the concept of a "self of steam," the culinary connotations of "heartrendering," the literary device called a "Segway," and so many more. With hilarious illustrations by Roz Chast, The African Svelte is a funny and edifying tribute to the adaptability and inventiveness of the English language. You'll be laughing - and learning - "from the gecko"! (AG)
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