Author and native St. Louisan Elizabeth Little is in love with language. And not just in the way that any self-respecting writer should be. She's studied Mandarin, knows French and some Italian, and Little even put ancient Greek on a résumé once (she was in high school). In her spare time, she pores over Cree and Romanian, just to name a couple languages, and she's even written a book about her linguistic fascinations. Biting the Wax Tadpole: Confessions of a Language Fanatic informatively, yet entertainingly, covers the quirks and intricacies of several tongues and, more important, includes translations of words found in Ikea catalogs and some awesomely long German nouns and an explanation of the enigmatic book title. But unless we missed a page, we didn't see any elucidation of the "warsh" or "Highway Farty" phenomena — we'll have to ask Little her thoughts on those when she comes to Subterranean Books (6275 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-862-6100 or www.subbooks.com) for a free reading and signing tonight at 7 p.m.
Mon., Nov. 26, 2007