The Literary Horizon: The Word’s Gotten Out


The Word’s Gotten Out by Willard R. Espy


The eighth in Espy’s inimitable “words at play” series, this compendium includes verses, quotations, rebuses, limericks, acrostics, anagrams, pangrams, palindromes, and Espy’s own commentary in verse. We can learn interesting information, we can have a good laugh, and we can feel frustrated by impossible word puzzles. Espy is a bit sexist, a bit too old-fashioned, and a bit pedantic with his Latin and Greek, but he has a wide following among lovers of languages and language games. Every library should have his complete works. – Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Coll., Garden City, N.Y.

via Amazon

I was about to write something about how delightful it is to find recommendations on my reading list that I’ve completely forgotten about, and how fun it is to try and decipher the thought processes of your past self. And then I remembered I picked this up out of Nancy Pearl’s More Book Lust, which invalidated that. I guess I’ll save it for an actual unknown. But, in any case, I love peeping at other people’s commonplace book. I think you can understand a lot about a person from their commonplace; it’s a bit like rings on a tree, except in quotations of the written word. (I’d say books, but a lot of my commonplace book in recent months is Nathan Rabin.) I’ve never even heard of Espy before (he was, apparently, a man of some import), but it’s always nice to meet new authors.

Reviews, however, are so thin on the ground they barely qualify as low-hanging fog. There are five ratings on Goodreads, giving it a four-star rating, but there’s no elaboration whatsoever. I enjoy going into films blind, so perhaps I’ll enjoy going into this blind as well!

The Word’s Gotten Out was published in 1989.

2 thoughts on “The Literary Horizon: The Word’s Gotten Out

  1. Aw, you don’t know Espy? Dude’s hilarious although yeah, a little sexist. But oh man, you have to read the Almanac of Words at Play. It’s wonderful. The first two are both wonderful and that is as far as my knowledge of Espy extends.

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