A student in my current writing class (where I've been tediously pedantic about grammar and word usage) brought me this book, autographed by The Comma Queen herself. It's a wonderful read -- but not about punctuation. Rather, it's the tale of how Norris became infatuated with the Greek language, studied both classical and modern Greek, and traveled in Greece -- a kind of memoir, but with lots of discussion of the meaning of words -- in Greek and of Greek derivation.
I love this stuff! The discussion of Athena's eyes (typically translated as grey/gray or gleaming) goes on for six pages -- what did the ancient Greeks mean by glaukos? Is it a color -- pale blue, grey-green, silvery, greenish-blue -- or is it an attribute -- clear-eyed, bright-eyed, steely. sharp-sighted?
I don't know why it is, but I find this fascinating. Probably because I'm something of a word nerd. Not enough to take on the study of ancient Greek but I'm so glad Norris did and shared what she learned . . . and saw and experienced in such an entertaining book.
Now I have to hunt down her book Between You and Me.