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"Robert Hartwell Fiske adheres admirably to rules that are practical, that facilitate understanding through logic and lucidity, or even just by a sense of decorum that makes speech more communicative and writing more elegant." —John Simon, New York Magazine
About the Author
Robert Hartwell Fiske is the editor and publisher of The Vocabula Review (vocabula.com), a monthly online journal about the English language. He also publishes Robert Hartwell Fiske's Disagreeable English, a bimonthly bulletin of misused, misspelled, and mispronounced English. He is the author of The Dictionary of Unendurable English; The Dictionary of Concise Writing, Third Edition; The Best Words; 101 Elegant Paragraphs; and other books.
More About the Author
He is the author of:
* The Dictionary of Unendurable English (Scribner)
* To the Point: The Dictionary of Concise Writing (W. W. Norton)
* Elegant English (Vocabula Books)
He is the owner of Vocabula Communications Company (www.vocabula.com/VCC.asp), which consists of The Vocabula Review, The Daily Vocabula, Vocabula Books, and Language Guardian.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is divided into two parts:
Part 1 - gives examples of the hackneyed phrases which have slipped into everyday English. It then goes on to explain why these are tired and outdated. It then goes on to talk about the different forms of English - uneducated, everyday and elegant - and how these can be improved.
Part 2 - The bulk of the book is given over to this. This is where the 5000 words and phrases come in. These are provided in alphabetical order for easy reference. It is a simple matter to look up a phrase and the suggestions for words which could replace it. I am going to open up the book at random and give an example:
Feeling his oats - This is classed as a moribund metaphor. Suggested replacements - exuberant, frisky, lively peppy, vigorous, vivacious
The appendix at the end gives the top 20 Dimwiticism's (overused phrases) in the presses of the world. This is a real eye opener (that's not classed as a dimwiticism in the book: and is also a bit of fun.
So all in all an excellent resource for any writer.
I haven't read through the entire thing, yet, but I have read enough that when my wife says things to me like "there's no such thing as never" I point out that she is saying a dimwiticism.
I'll tell you this much: I may recognize a dimwiticism when I hear one, but calling my wife a dimwit? That's dimwitted!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book. It list all the cliche's, worn out phrases, etc., that all writers wish to avoid and has been an excellent reference.Published on July 23, 2013 by Avid reader
I love this book. It's a great reference for writers. My kids use this book, and I've found them going through it on several occasions. Read morePublished on February 4, 2010 by Lover of Art