A Year in Reading 2016.

Once again it’s time for the Year in Reading feature at The Millions, in which people write about books they’ve read and enjoyed during the previous year; my contribution is up, featuring my review of Aileen M. Kelly’s great biography of Herzen, The Discovery of Chance, as well as my other favorites of the year, including some I’ve discussed here at LH.


  1. I note that you call yourself the proprietor rather than the author of Languagehat. While I’m sure we all appreciate the implicit credit to the LH commentariat, are you ever by chance taken for the owner of a lady’s seminary?

  2. Why, I’m sure I don’t know, and if I did know, I’m sure I couldn’t say!

    *fans self vigorously*

  3. Prior inter pares.

  4. That’s a buy-inducing review you have of the Herzen book. I’ll wait only until the paperback comes out.

  5. Prior inter pares.

    Capo dei capi.

  6. David Marjanović says

    Capo dei capi.

    xšāyaθiya xšāyaθiyanām

  7. šar šarrāni, מֶלֶךְ מְלָכִים melek mĕlakîm, shâhanshâh, βασιλευς των βασιλευοντω basileus ton basileonton, king of kings.

  8. Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles!

  9. מֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְלָכִים ‘King of Kings of Kings’, if you aspire to godliness.

  10. January First-of-May says


    This reminds me of one quiz question I made up a few months ago (roughly translated from the spoken Russian it’s usually in): “The title of Persian rulers from the Achaemenid dynasty is ‘King of Kings’. You probably don’t know the original Old Persian pronunciation – but what would it be in modern Persian?”

    The answer I’m looking for is шахиншах (as in шахиншах Ирана, i.e. “Shahanshah of Iran”, the title of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi).
    The Old Persian is, of course, already in the thread (though I usually quote it the way I originally heard it, in the opposite order to the one listed here).

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