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The Wrong Word Dictionary: 2,000 Most Commonly Confused Words Paperback – September 28, 2005

27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A lively new reference."  —Off the Page on WSKG Radio


"Deserves a spot on every home reference bookshelf."  —Daily News 
 


"If you want to ensure you don't use the wrong word, read this book."  —Robert Harwell Fiske, author, The Dimwit's Dictionary
 
 

About the Author

Dave Dowling is also the author of The Dictionary of Worthless Words, Images of Steve Reeves, and Steve Reeves: His Legacy in Films. For many years, he worked as a technical writer, editor, and writing instructor in large industry. Years ago he also worked in radio, assisting in the production of the nationally syndicated shows American Country Countdown and American Top 40. He now lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Marion Street Press, LLC (September 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972993770
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972993777
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,708,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Dave Bernstein on November 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
Have you ever confused the words gone and went? Which and that? Good and well? If you have, this is definitely a must have for your bookshelf.

Since I've had this book, my writing has improved tremendously. I find myself reaching for this book whenever I'm writing an e-mail, typing a paper, or just plain confused. This book is a great asset for any college student, business professional, or just the average writer.

If you do a lot of writing, make sure to pick up a copy of this book. You'll wonder how you ever lived without it.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By G. Dracon on December 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
I thought Dave Dowling's "Writing the Right Word" was helpful - "The Wrong Word Dictionary" takes my logophilia to another level! Dowling's latest masterpiece helps you to effectively sharpen your speech and writing skills in a painless and enjoyable way.

It's a snap to find the words you're looking for and, rather than bombard you with loads of background information, the explanations are presented in a succinct and effective manner. This style allows Dowling to provide you with thousands of answers that are accessible and understandable within, literally, seconds of opening the book.

The only downside is that you will regularly wish that you had the book by your side as you write emails or other documents. Solution: buy a few copies and leave them wherever you frequently sit down to write or, better yet, maybe Dowling will come out with a pill version that we could swallow and just know the right word automatically!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Vicente Lozano on November 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
Robert Browning, the 19th Century British poet, on analyzing a bishop's discourse said, "He said true things, but called them wrong names." Dave Dowling's "The Wrong Word Dictionary" goes after many of the the wrong names (confusable words) we sometimes use in our attempt to write or say "true things." By providing concise definitions of those words we are liable to confuse, this dictionary leads us to the correct word.

Best of all, the papeback is small yet comprehensive in its coverage. We can carry it with us to the classroom, the office, or even to our local bar. In 234 pages, more than 2,000 problem words are clarified. For some words, distinctions are made clear with cartoon illustrations that remind us that word study can also be fun. The cartoons also serve as mnemonic devices. After we see a cartoon that illustrates what caused a noisome odor to drift into a noisy party, we are not liable to forget the difference between "noisome" and "noisy".

Mark Twain said, "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter--'tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning." Dave Dowling, in his book, does an excellent job in helping us differentiate between several "lightning bugs" and "lightning"-- and have fun doing it too. A "must have" for writers, professionals, students (including ESL students), and all English users who want to make important word distinctions quickly without having to carry a large dictionary or usage book with them.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia P. Gallagher on July 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
Let's face it: today's schools are so busy teaching political correctness, they skip over the basics, like fundamental English grammar. Even those who once learned how to parse a complex compound sentence get confused over words like "effect" and "affect." Dave Dowling's "Wrong Word Dictionary" has compiled all these annoying little buggers into a handy, concise manual that should be kept right next to the computer. Look to your laurels, Strunk & White, Dave Dowling has a book on usage that we can really use!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ben Tongue on December 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is both useful and entertaining! Most reference books are not amusing enough to keep my interest... but this reference book is humorous and smart!

The Wrong Word Dictionary should be in every writer's toolbox! I can't believe how often I use this book to look up the RIGHT words. A word of caution; Make sure you can handle it when you realize, "Oh my gosh! I've been using the wrong word for years!"
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Harter on July 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I own many writing books and Dowling's book is a breath of fresh air because he tackles a tough subject in a very succinct and wide-ranging way. Some of my writing books, though good, go on for too long with overblown explanations and cover not enough ground. I like this book's approach to brevity and comprehensiveness. I also enjoyed the handy size and the humorous cartoons to help explain the differences to some tough word pairs. It's an exceptional compilation, well done, and a book many in the workplace as well as education will enjoy. Being a writer I find this book very helpful.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Diane Szlucha on December 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
Dave Dowling has written the first reference book I have ever wanted to just sit down and read; and doing that is just what you should do with this book. You may think you have been writing the correct word all along, but in reading this, you may find that you need to make some changes. I found words that I have used incorrectly my whole life. Now I have Mr. Dowling to thank for improving my writing. This compact book will fit in your briefcase (not your attache' case)and in your laptop case. It sits nicely next to computer and is handy to grab at a moment's notice. Thanks, Dave. This is a great book and I highly recommend it.
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