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Grammar Girl's 101 Words to Sound Smart (Quick & Dirty Tips) [Kindle Edition]

Mignon Fogarty
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $6.99
Kindle Price: $4.96
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Book Description

Millions of people around the world communicate better thanks to Mignon Fogarty, aka Grammar Girl, whose top-rated weekly grammar podcast has been downloaded more than 40 million times. Now she's turning her attention to improving our vocabulary--one smart word at a time--with Grammar Girl's 101 Words to Sound Smart.

Are you often stumped for the perfect way to say or write something? Do you find yourself using the same words over and over? Grammar Girl to the rescue! This handy reference guide contains 101 words that will enhance your writing, adding nuance, subtlety, and insight. Using these words in speeches, you'll sound confident and articulate--a skill that will benefit you for years to come.
Full of clear, straightforward definitions and fun quotations from historic luminaries such as Leonardo da Vinci and Charlotte Bronte as well as contemporary notables such as Dave Eggers and Rowan Atkinson, this highly useable guidebook gives you the ability to speak and write eloquently at any occasion, setting you up for a lifetime of success.

Editorial Reviews


For anyone who writes; whether blogs or greeting cards, and anyone who speaks in public ... this book should be in your reference library! (City Book Review)

A very cute little book and a perfect stocking stuffer!...Recommended for the aspiring writer in your life! (Booking Mama)

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty, the creator of Grammar Girl and the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips Network, is also the author of the New York Times bestselling GRAMMAR GIRL'S QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS FOR BETTER WRITING and THE GRAMMAR DEVOTIONAL. Her straightforward, bite-sized tips on grammar have led to features in the New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and an appearance on Oprah. She lives in Reno, Nevada.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great, but with one Travesty December 10, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mignon Fogarty, the self proclaimed "Grammar Girl" has produced yet another interesting piece of English grammar guidance. However, she made one lackadaisical languid mistake. There is not one pronunciation guide in the entire book. While some of the words are easy to spot, waft, wane, gall to name a few. Others make me feel like the book should be called "101 words to make you sound smart, except a few that will make you sound stupid" The book implies that you will be speaking these words i.e. "sound smart" Sui Generis, Ersatz, Coterie I realize that this is not a dictionary and she does a great job avoiding that by providing background information, but it would have been nice to see a guide so i could actually sound smart.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Linguistic Resource November 13, 2011
Grammar Girl's 101 Words to Sound Smart is filled with interesting words. Each one is clearly defined but not with the clinical precision of a dictionary. Instead, Mignon Fogarty provides interesting background on the origins of most of the words and gives concrete examples of how the usage may have changed over time. Each word is also accompanied by a quotation or two showing it being used correctly. These quotations were very fun to read and their sources ranged from journalists to politicians to popular authors and television shows.

Some of the words contained in this book were familiar to me but Fogarty pointed out subtle nuances of usage that I was unfamiliar with. Other words were completely new. While I do not see myself regularly interjecting these words into my reviews or other writings, I will be keeping this book on hand as a reference guide for those occasions when an extra special word is needed.

The one thing that I found to be missing from this book is a pronunciation guide for each word. While Fogarty is discussing the usage of these words in writing, I still like to know how the word should sound in my head as I am reading it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prosaic Lexicon? Give Grammar Girl's Latest Book a Read! November 10, 2011
By Denise
Like Grammar Girl's previous 101 word books, this book is filled with useful, remarkable, and interesting words plus its fair share of "holy cow I never knew that!" words. There's a variety of meanings and parts of speech, and none of them are pointless, so-specific-I'll-never-need-to-know-them kinds of words. I trust her to know which ones to include in her selections. She is Grammar Girl, after all!

This time, however, the words are elective, which beg to be taken in for entertainment. GG's previous 101 books, "Words Every High School Graduate Needs to Know" and "Words You'll Never Confuse Again" were so fun to read that I consumed them both in one sitting, but I treated them partially as an assignment. (As an English teacher with a master's degree, I darn well better know the 101 words every HS grad should know!)

However, this collection exists for the sheer fun of learning a whole bunch of delightful fifty-centers. Yes, smart people should know the words or at least most of them; but absolutely everyone who enjoys language will adore this book, not just for the interesting, carefully selected compilation but also for GG's always useful and oftentimes hilarious examples from all over-- newspapers, online sources, comedians like Bill Mahar, and pop culture notables like that guy from Fall Out Boy. Plus, she includes fascinating etymologies (origin stories) for each word--not in the dry way that dictionaries do, but in a super fun, useful way that really makes the reader understand where the word came from and why it means what it means. I believe knowing the etymology will make the word all the more fun to use!

Yep, GG's done it again! She's created an indispensable collection and I thank her for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I hate to besmirch this book but... May 8, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Grammars Girls's 101
Words to Sound Smart.

I want to start this review with a quick explanation of what you're about to read. I decided to write this review using some of the words in the book to give you a glimpse of what you will sound like when using theme in everyday natural language.

Get ready, this is not going to be fun...

I abjure the use of this book simply due to the fact that you will sound like a pompous jerk; or make it sound like your language has become an anachronism. For me, if anyone used language like this, I would easily consider the offender anathema and quickly remove myself from his or her proximity; this would undoubtedly lead to an anodyne calmness. I'm sure using this language might help you sound like you are avant-garde in your field, however you have to consider that most people simply won't understand you (and talk about you behind your back).

Maybe you use words like this all the time? If this is the case, you'll feel like you are in your own bailiwick. However, if I were to walk in to a town full of people that spoke like this, I would feel like I walked in to a pit of bedlam! I feel bad giving this book two stars, only because I like Grammar Girl, but this book needs a good besmirching; people need to understand grammar girl dropped the ball on this book! GG does have her bona fides, so I can understand why people (like myself) would buy this book with high hopes; what a let down, this book really needs to be bowdlerized.

Reading this book, I feel like it must be a cipher with a treasure of information that I simply can not crack. I find that I can not use very many words out of this book simply because my coterie does not use, or understand them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended.
This book is terrible, most of the words are not common enough to use and likely will never use. I don't recommend.
Published 6 months ago by Diana Perez
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent book
Published 6 months ago by Yvonne Brady
3.0 out of 5 stars I really liked reading these books
I really liked reading these books; I ended up buying all of them to help me with school. I think the only thing I highly dislike about all of them is that she uses "quick and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kathleen Bishop
5.0 out of 5 stars a must have.
Interesting words not normally found in books or magazines, yet very useful to know anyhow. A must have for all.
Published 8 months ago by David
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great little book, chocked full of solid, useful information. Grammar Girl does it again!
Published 9 months ago by Mark Swinden
3.0 out of 5 stars Words you'll never use
Sorry but their vocab choices are not for the average Joe. I work in a professional environment and was looking to augment my vocabulary with this book. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT!
very handy and good to carry even of a medium coats pocket. very quick to find the word, two words with examples per page, arranged in a fun matter with sporadic pictures in some.
Published 14 months ago by Foxpoison
5.0 out of 5 stars Vocabulary Grabber
Many youngsters "get stuck" phrasing same vocabularies just to look and sound "kool." This little book is packed with definitions to broaden their thinking and to... Read more
Published 15 months ago by mermaid
5.0 out of 5 stars I am smartor thean my frynds.
OK, weak joke. But, seriously, not sure how to convey with enough impact, how wonderful this young lady's contribution to the study of my native (?) language is.... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Steve Jennette
5.0 out of 5 stars Grammar Girl Triumphs Again!
I enjoy all of Mignon Fogarty's Grammar Girl books, and this one was not a disappointment. Her explanations are clear and humorous, and she anticipates problems readers may have. Read more
Published 16 months ago by mrsmartinez
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More About the Author

Mignon Fogarty is the creator of Grammar Girl and founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips Network. A technical writer and entrepreneur, she has served as an editor and producer at a number of health and science Web sites. She has a B.A. in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University. She lives in Reno, Nevada.


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