April 21, 2013, 01:29arnie
on Language Log caused me to buy the Kindle version of the book. I've only just started reading but it's pretty good so far. Apparently it's only available in the UK at present. Here he is on the Amazon Kindle:
The word ‘kindle’ itself means to set alight, taken from the Old Norse kynda, and is defined on the home screen of Amazon’s device as both to ‘light or set fire’ and, more poetically, to ‘arouse or inspire’. Delightfully – and presumably coincidentally, where electronic books are concerned – ‘kindle’ is also the collective noun for a group of kittens, thanks to the Middle English word kindel meaning ‘to give birth’, itself a distant relative of the Norse original. Most significantly when it comes to literature, the word ‘kindle’ features in a famous epigram from the French enlightenment thinker Voltaire in praise of book-learning: ‘we fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.’
Contrast this to the Kindle’s main rivals, and you’ll find a stark divergence of naming ferocity. Barnes and Noble’s Nook is simply the word ‘book’ with a different first letter; Toronto-based company Kobo’s eponymous eReader, the Kobo, is ‘book’ with its letters rearranged; while Sony’s offering is known only as the Sony Reader. Voltaire it isn’t. Given that Apple’s rival software to Kindle is called iBooks, and Google’s called Google Books, you’d be forgiven for thinking that only one company working with onscreen words has any fire in its belly.
Chatfield, Tom (2013-03-28). Netymology: From Apps to Zombies, A Linguistic Celebration of the Digital World (Kindle Locations 227-232). Quercus. Kindle Edition.
April 25, 2013, 20:26Kalleh
It sounds good. I wonder why it's only available in the UK.
April 26, 2013, 03:07arnie
The author is British. It was only published on 28 March, so I expect it'll be published in other countries in a little while, assuming a US publisher is lined up.