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A Pun My Word: A Humorously Enlightened Path to English Usage Paperback – May 15, 1991

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This prescriptive, somewhat old-fashioned handbook on usage emphasizes correct word choice ( compose / comprise / con sist /include , decimate / demolish / destroy , ob scenity / profanity / vulgarity ) and warns against confusion ( mendacity / mendicity , loath / loathe, tortuous / torturous ) . However, hair / heir , voyageur / voyeur, immu nity / impunity hardly need clearing up. Some entries are not well explained (the difference between journey and voyage , for example), and some rely too much on a knowledge of grammar (clauses, case, verbals), although a glossary of terms helps. Using characters such as Luke Warm, Ava Rice, and Tab Lloyd, this book is fun, if a bit sexist, but it is not complete enough to be a good reference.
- Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Coll., Garden City, N.Y.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Sure to be a word-lover's delight, Shipman's contribution to popular lexicology is a book-length variation upon that curiously gratifying chapter of Strunk and White's infamous ^RElements of Style, Misused Words and Expressions^I. (Booklist)

Shipman has an easy way of explaining word usage. (Donald F. Brod, Chair, Department of Journalism, Northern Illinois University)

^RA Pun My Word^I, a simple and practical word guide to English, is the way to review-and have some fun along the way....'Now I understand,' you'll say, reading the clever, tongue-in-cheek examples. You'll recognize words and expressions you've used interchangeably-and wrongly! (Writer's Digest Book Club Bulletin)

...a superb guide to the intricacies of the language....provides clear distinctions between and among confusing words but does so in a light and often humorous manner. Such a book is especially useful to journalism students, and even practicing journalists... (John C. Merrill, Professor Emeritus of Journalism, University of Missouri)

...a sophisticated yet practical guide to the many common confusions of English usage, leavened with uncommon wit.... (Joan Konner, Dean, Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University)

^RA Pun My Word^I educates with humor and charm.... (Jane F. Earley, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, Mankato State University)

This reference should be on the desks of journalists, students, and all of us who remain concerned with the nuances of language. (James R. Boylan, University of Massachusetts)

...useful for writers who want a quick, conservative, ready-reference source to help them choose the right word from confusables of various kinds. (American Reference Books Annual)

The book consists of hundreds of clear explanations of the most troubling of English uses and misuses....explanations aren't easily found in dictionaries without looking up at least two words and then combing through multiple definitions. ^RA Pun My Word^I makes quick work of such forays into accuracy. (Quill and Scroll)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 546 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (May 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822630117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822630111
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,236,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Given the title, one might reasonably presume this book to be more clever or funny than it actually is. It *is* a useful reference for disambiguating easily confused words, although some of the examples are better than others in highlighting the distinctions. Don't expect too much punning, though.
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A Pun My Word: A Humorously Enlightened Path to English Usage
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