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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Just found this book on a coffee table in a B&N. I was there to drink an espresso and browse through a business book. Next thing, I am there for 3 hours, reading half of the book and taking notes!

It's a great book. I think everyone should own and read it many times over. I noticed many French words as part of this book. Never heard of the author but her...
Published on December 28, 2008 by Parham A.

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not the best
Smart Words has got some great words in it, but know that many (40 percent?) are not words to be used in daily conversation, no matter who your company might be. If you are a writer, good. If you are a college/grad student, good. But even considering the good selection of words in this book, Harrison's sentences and definitions aren't always as good as they could be. For...
Published on December 26, 2010 by Jean C. Lee


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, December 28, 2008
By 
Parham A. (Santa Monica, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Smart Words: Vocabulary for the Erudite (Paperback)
Just found this book on a coffee table in a B&N. I was there to drink an espresso and browse through a business book. Next thing, I am there for 3 hours, reading half of the book and taking notes!

It's a great book. I think everyone should own and read it many times over. I noticed many French words as part of this book. Never heard of the author but her writing is easy to follow and practical. Every word has a definition followed by a real-world example.

Kudos to Mim Harrison and I highly recommend it.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun with words and lots of words with fun contents, November 4, 2008
By 
Theodore A. Rushton (PHOENIX, Arizona United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Smart Words: Vocabulary for the Erudite (Paperback)
This is a fun book, whether you love words, use them or are often amused by the use and misuse of them.

There's some words I knew, more words I thought I knew but didn't really know and perhaps should unknow (de-know?), and lotsa words I don't know and to this day don't know if I should know or not know.

In some ways it's puzzling. For example, Mim explains "maneuver" has the same roots as "manure" and if you mess up your maneuvres you could be in deep doo-doo. Okay. So how is "manure" the origin of "doo doo." Or vice versa (it could be worsa!).

In many ways it's delightful. Ever hear that Spanish song, "Jose, can you Si?" By the Don's early light?" It's an example of "mondegreen," which means "misheard words." Think of "Andy" as God's first name, as in "Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me ..." Or the guy in the Pledege of Allegiance, "... and to the Republic, for Richard Stands ..."

It's written with wit and wisdom. The fun thing is the examples used to illustrate the meaning of unusual words, such as "Spoonerism - a transposition of initial letters in adjacent words" and her Spilliam Wooner (1844-1930) example, "You have hissed all your mystery lectures and tasted two whole worms."

A "minion" in business is better known as a "brown-nose" in school. As for my favourite Algonquin word "mugwump" to describe someone who remains neutral, Mim missed the definition "a person with his 'mug' on one side of an issue and his 'wump' on the other." Ah well, nothing is perfect. Likewise, my favourite use of a big word is by Dorothy Parker, "You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think." (Rest assured, Harrison doesn't descend to such punnery -- Parker was clever, Harrison is erudite, so why do I remember such definitions?.)

This book is a gem.

Tautologically writing and my bandinage to the side, it's a gem of a fun book. Granted, "tautilogical" isn't defined; "tautology" is defined as "redundancy of words" as in: If I've written it once I've written it a thousand times -- this book is a gem.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun for Word Lovers, September 6, 2009
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This review is from: Smart Words: Vocabulary for the Erudite (Paperback)
Smart Words is fun for those who want to expand their vocabularies and for those who just like reading about interesting words. Mim Harrison organizes her book into chapters, each focused on an idiosyncratic theme--words related to geography, words with interesting etymologies, one-syllable words, etc. The author provides a phonetic pronunciation, her own charming definition and an entertaining sentence for each word. Although the book is too conversational to take the place of an official dictionary, it can be very helpful for students of the English language, who will be happy to read it straight through from cover to cover.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!, January 10, 2011
This review is from: Smart Words: Vocabulary for the Erudite (Paperback)
What a great way to make the acquaintance of some interesting words! I loved that the definitions are simple and not belabored, and that the word is then explained in addition to being defined. The phonetics are also clear and more intuitive than the traditional style. Most of all, I like the tone of this book. The author clearly enjoyed writing it and she wants you to enjoy reading it. I think that's another reason why it's easier to remember so many of these words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FEELING ERUDITE - FROM MUGWUMP TO PROVOCATEUR, July 14, 2011
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This review is from: Smart Words: Vocabulary for the Erudite (Paperback)
Being a writer and an English instuctor, I found this little book to be an exciting challenge and a lot of fun in reminding and rebuilding my vocabulary. Most of the words would probably never be used in everyday conversations but you could be very impressive (showing the flair) in understanding while reading high level academic pieces. The book has chapters that range from action to the classics, to powerhouse words and special words used in the spice of life. I liked the foreign import section with words such aficionado for the bullfighters, avatar for the movie-goers, demimonde for those that enjoy the ladies of the night, or the sangfroid cold-blooded participatant, or anomie for the sociologists or joie de vivre for those that experience the joy of living. If you're in the 'word' business, this is a good one to add to your library, and of course, baffle your students. Enjoy your next philippic and make it loud.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book of word epiphanies!, January 3, 2009
By 
1thing (Black Forest, CO USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Smart Words: Vocabulary for the Erudite (Paperback)
Are you a dictionary reader? Love words and learning new ways to use them? Then treat yourself to Smart Words now! Mim Harrison has created a joyful book for language lovers full of word epiphanies. Writers, readers and language aficionados will appreciate this gem of a book. Mim, start working on More Smart Words!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not the best, December 26, 2010
This review is from: Smart Words: Vocabulary for the Erudite (Paperback)
Smart Words has got some great words in it, but know that many (40 percent?) are not words to be used in daily conversation, no matter who your company might be. If you are a writer, good. If you are a college/grad student, good. But even considering the good selection of words in this book, Harrison's sentences and definitions aren't always as good as they could be. For instance, "stickler" is "one who insists." I understand that keeping definitions concise makes it easier for the reader, but there is such a thing as too concise for clarity. I noticed some of the pronunciations were sometimes off; the key for "sycophant", for instance, would be probably better off as SIK-uh-fint, rather than SIK-uh-font. These are pretty major flaws for a vocab book, and although I've only found them in a handful of entries in the 30 pages I've read, it is a bit shady for a vocab book which intends to instruct readers. Again, the organization and selection of words are excellent, but in my honest opinion, there are significant changes to make before I would recommend this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, October 30, 2013
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This review is from: Smart Words: Vocabulary for the Erudite (Paperback)
I should have gotten this a long time ago! definitely increases you vocabulary with detailed examples and simple meanings! loveeeee it!!!!!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fast shipping, June 17, 2013
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The book is organized very well, easy to read, easy to use. Would recommend to anyone wishing to become an erudite.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Waaayyyy better than a Dictionary, March 8, 2013
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This review is from: Smart Words: Vocabulary for the Erudite (Paperback)
Nothing has worked as well as this book in terms of helping me remember fancy words. You really do end up being able to incorporate the words into your every day vocabulary.
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Smart Words: Vocabulary for the Erudite
Smart Words: Vocabulary for the Erudite by Mim Harrison (Paperback - November 4, 2008)
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