top of page

New Release

Tales From the Word Guy
What Your English Teacher Never Taught You

Are you ready for an exciting and refreshing look at the wonders of the English language?


Jonathan Berkowitz leads a delightful journey through the history, idiosyncrasies, and sheer pleasures of the English language. He covers how English evolved and expanded over the centuries. And he reminds us of long-forgotten aspects of how to use the language properly.

Tales From the Word Guy is a collection of essays adapted from the author’s segments on CBC Radio One’s North by Northwest. You will chuckle at how English is used improperly, often with amusing results. With enthusiasm, humour, and plenty of infectious fun, Berkowitz offers up a deep appreciation for the beauty of our language. If you love our common tongue, you’ll love this look at it.

TalesFromTheWordGuy - FINAL UPDATED COVER - 26 Apr 2022.jpeg

Order Now

Love of Language

I have always loved words. Short and long, simple and complex, old and new, with everything in between. I love what they look like, what they mean, and how they sound. I take pride in knowing how to use them correctly and am greatly amused at how easily and often that goes wrong. I am fascinated with how the letters, put together, make words, and how words, put together, make sentences. Their evolution and origin stories continually captivate me. I get great pleasure in taking words apart, then reassembling them into new creations. And, perhaps most of all, I love the humour that comes from putting words together in unusual ways.


The essays cover a wide range of aspects of the English language, but don’t have to be read in sequence. Think of it as a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get until you bite into it, or unless you read the guide that came with the box! But I hope you find this collection delicious, in the metaphorical sense of the word. And if you’re not entirely sure what a metaphor is, you’ll find that in the book!


Praise & Reviews

“My listeners love the Word Guy. His columns are filled with intriguing and surprising facts,
punctuated with his clever trademark puns. I know you’ll enjoy this book immensely. Settle
yourself in for a fun and fascinating experience with the English language.”

Sheryl MacKay, Host of CBC Radio 1’s North by Northwest

“The writing is enthusiastic, sincere, and high-energy writing. His love of language and words really shines through and is infectious. The book strikes an excellent balance between descriptivism and prescriptivism and will appeal to all lovers of words.”

FreisenPress Editor

“An astonishingly engaging, totally readable description and analysis of the English language—a brilliant blend of humour, esoterica, history, and plain old how-to’s for clear usage.
This is a book for all of us!”

Marylee Stephenson
PhD, storyteller, author, photographer

“It’s a fascinating wander through the whole world of words.”

Scott Steedman, Editor, Writer, Publishing Consultant



Jonathan Berkowitz

Dr. Jonathan Berkowitz is the Word Guy on North by Northwest on CBC Radio One where he shares his lifelong passion for the English language.


Author of The Whirl of Words about word puzzles of all sorts, Berkowitz is an award-winning professor of statistics at The University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business. For more information, visit

bottom of page