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100 Words To Make You Sound Smart [Paperback]

by Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 4, 2006 061871488X 978-0618714889 1
The newest title in the popular 100 Words series is an informative and entertaining resource that can help anyone be right on the money when looking for words that will make a point, seal the deal, or just keep folks listening. Chosen by the editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries, these words will appeal to anyone who wants to be a more compelling communicator—as a worker, consumer, advocate, friend, dinner companion, or even as a romantic prospect.

The book includes a colorful variety of words, including handy words of just one syllable (such as glib) and words derived from the names of famous people (such as Freudian slip and Machiavellian).
There are expressions from popular culture (Catch-22) and words that date back to classical civilization (spartan and stoic). Each word is clearly defined and shown in context with quotations from contemporary sources: magazines, newspapers, broadcast media, movies, and television. For many words, quotations from distinguished authors and speakers are also given and word histories are explained.

Like its predecessors in this successful series, 100 Words to Make You Sound Smart provides an affordable and enjoyable way to communicate more effectively. It offers the coveted gift of gab to anyone who needs to “say it right”—and to anyone who wants to sound more articulate.

Frequently Bought Together

100 Words To Make You Sound Smart + 100 Words Almost Everyone Confuses and Misuses + 100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know
Price for all three: $19.80

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries are a team of professional lexicographers with advanced degrees in various scholarly fields. The editors familiarize themselves with the vocabulary in specific subject areas, collect materials on new developments and usage, and work with expert consultants to ensure that the content of our publications is as accurate and as up-to-date as possible.

Product Details

  • Series: 100 Words
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (October 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061871488X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618714889
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 4.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Is Fun! October 26, 2006
Words are fun, entertaining, and educational! And that is what '100 Words To Make You Sound Smart' is all about folks. I have purposefully never reviewed a reference title, but this was simply to good to pass up. The editors of American Heritage Dictionaries really did a nice job here in selecting interesting, useful words that can and are used in our day-to-day vocabulary.

Each specific word was easily defined and placed into a useful context for readers to understand. Quoting from an assortment of sources including movies, television, magazines, and newspapers, it was fun to explore new words and to reacquaint myself with some old friends.

I have a suggestion for anyone interested: next time you're taking a road trip with someone you like, take this little diddy with you . . . and have some fun!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gateway to Learning HUGE Words October 9, 2007
A Kid's Review
I recently got this book at my elementary school's book fair, and I was sucked into it immediately. I love to learn big words and impress my peers. I also adore writing, and now that I have this book, I can use the vocabulary in my stories. My dream is to be in the Scripp's National Spelling Bee, and these are the type of words given to contestants. I reccomend this book to anyone who had a love for reading and most of all, spelling to impress!
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29 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Words, words, words December 7, 2006
True, these 100 words in the book may make me sound smart, but I wonder if I use them in writing to the eighth-grade-reading-level public, will I make them feel stupid?

A book I read recently said that we are to write to that reading level, not because our reader's ability, but because today people are sssssoooooo busy and stressed they don't want to take the time to read "harder," higher-level words.

I was thrilled that a writer/editor of other people's words, I knew every single one. So now let's see how many of those 100 words I can use in a sentence (do I need a hobby, or what?)

The lurid (explicit/vivid) paradox (contradict) is insidious (treacherous), making me peevish (irritable) in that it is Spartan (simple manner) and without stigma (disgrace), but is also stoic (show no emotion), ostentatious (pretentious), and fastidious (attention to detail)--a dichotomy (divided into two parts) that is a red herring (draws attention from matter at hand) that is 100 percent non sequitur (does not follow logically).

So there. Writers and readers, if you can catch an idiosyncratic word (peculiar to a specific group), write me at P.O. Box _____.

Armchair Interviews says: The 100 Words That Make You Sound Smart would be a fun gift for anyone, including you--because anything that can make you sound smart can't be all bad. You think?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it April 25, 2009
By Miliria
I'm a pretty average high school student. The reason why I bought this book was because the SAT's were coming up and I needed to improve my vocabulary. OK so there are some easy words like suave, vile, and antidote, but there were a lot of words that I wasn't familiar with like svengali or gregarious.

However, if you are an adult and already know what svengali means, you probably don't need this book. The editors did write in the foreword that the word choices were based on expressiveness not obscurity which is why they didn't include words like "brobdingnagian" or "philolgy".

Something that bothered a lot me was the title of the book; it made me feel pretentious reading this book.

Overall, I liked the format of the book. It was short, easy to read, easy to carry, and was somewhat entertaining. I also liked how the authors included famous quotes and passages as well as word origins. For me, the book provided the definitions of words that I've skimmed over but never bothered to look up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun to Flip through June 23, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is cute book that is fun to flip through and keep with your dictionary. It is essentially just a small dictionary and beyond definitions doesn't go into detail on entomology.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT October 5, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this. I try to read it every day and learn new words. It has a lot of good words that people should know and that definitely make you sound smarter. I think enriching your vocabulary is so important. Everyone should own this book! It not only tells what each word means and how it's pronounced but also includes a brief history and example. Brilliant!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rick Whittle - Hervey Bay Queensland Australia August 6, 2009
Like many people I have trouble remembering powerful words to use in the written and verbal sense.
I usually remember the appropriate word long after the conversation or discussion has finished.
Most vocabulary books are rather cumbersome and provide too much content and detail to realistically remember.
This why "100 words to make you sound smart" was great for me. After casually reading the book a few times I was able to memorize at least 40 words that I could use on a regular basis.
Even if you only remember half of the book's content, you have automatically improved your vocabulary by 50 words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good reference March 4, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great reference to use larger words. I dont' really care for the title of the book though.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Like the size, (and the content too)
Good vocal, and even better explanation for usage. Small size makes it handy to be carried around. Would recommend it.
Published 1 month ago by alizae mirza
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 new words each day
My son and I have set out to learn 2 new words each day and to use them in our everyday interaction with others.
It is fun learning new words with him.
Published 2 months ago by Carrolm
2.0 out of 5 stars Could live without knowing the 100 words that make you sound smart....
I couldn't really get into this book. It was a little generic if you ask me. I got it to help improve my college papers but as it turned out, the dictionary was more helpful.
Published 6 months ago by Monica S.
2.0 out of 5 stars Inadequate
I thought that this book would have more unusual words. It certainly didn't do that. It was not worth the purchase!
Published 9 months ago by P. Yeager
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Worth it
Great book because there are lots of those little words you've heard several times but you keep forgetting to "Google". Read more
Published 13 months ago by Jenna Curtis
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting
I was hoping for a resource to improve my vocabulary. I discovered that I know most of these words already. Not much help but did make me feel good about my knowledge.
Published 17 months ago by Sandy Goodman
5.0 out of 5 stars great little book
With Spanish being my first language, my english initially is/was very basic, with reading I've found most of the words I've used and known from a very young age in in spanish. Read more
Published on January 20, 2012 by AidaR
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing fancy
It is what it is; a book with less frequently used words, usage, pronunciation and examples. If you have one of those words of the day calendars, use that. Read more
Published on June 14, 2011 by J. Price
3.0 out of 5 stars its an ok book
this book was in perfect condition no complaints about the shipping or distributer the only problem i had was i knew almost all of the words in this book so it was no help to me. Read more
Published on April 12, 2011 by Erica L. Rodriguez
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't We All Want to Sound Smart?
I am a zealous (word #100) reader, so I already have a fairly advanced vocabulary and I did not find any new words here to use. Read more
Published on February 13, 2011 by Barbara Badham
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