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Words You Thought You Knew: 1001 Commonly Misused and Misunderstood Words and Phrases Paperback – December, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media Corporation (December 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580629415
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580629416
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,337,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jenna Glatzer is the best-selling author of Outwitting Writer’s Block and Conquering Panic and Anxiety Disorders, among others, and is the founder and editor of AbsoluteWrite.com. Her writing has appeared in numerous anthologies and publications. She holds a degree in communications from Boston University. She lives in New York.

More About the Author

I am the author or ghostwriter of 24 books, including Celine Dion's authorized biography (Celine Dion: For Keeps) and a Marilyn Monroe biography authorized by her estate (The Marilyn Monroe Treasures).

Some of my books have been turned into movies; others have been released in multiple languages around the world. I love what I do and the opportunities it gives me to meet and chronicle the lives of some pretty fascinating people.

Take, for instance, Scott Rigsby, the first double-amputee to finish the Hawaiian Ironman triathlon. Not only did he have no legs, but he also had two slipped discs in his back and one eye swollen shut on the day of the race. Our book is called Unthinkable.

Then there's Susan Markowitz, whose son's murder was the basis of the movie Alpha Dog. Our book is My Stolen Son.

Gaby Rodriguez made major headlines when she faked a pregnancy as her senior project in high school. Our book is The Pregnancy Project (also a Lifetime movie by the same name).

I've also written several health and self-help books, such as Bullyproof Your Child for Life with Joel Haber, Ph.D.

I live in New York with my awesome daughter. I have oddly wedge-shaped feet, and an excessive number of mugs. Maybe one day I'll get bigger cabinets.

See my author site at www.jennaglatzer.com for more about me.

Customer Reviews

If so, WORDS YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW is the reference book that was written for you.
The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
The book is an invaluable addition to any person's library and is especially useful for writers and those who love words.
Lori L. Lake
This book was for my husband and he carries it around reading it a lot of the time.
Jan Jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Poppy Hullings on December 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
Words You Thought You Knew...1001 Commonly Misused and Misunderstood Words and Phrases by Jenna Glatzer is just that...words you 'thought' you knew.
There are ones I've heard before like lie/lay, affect/effect, it's/its, and irrregardless. Then there are countless others I never knew until now like another THINK coming being the original use of the phrase instead of another THING coming, WHET your appetite instead of WET your appetite, SHOO-in instead of SHOE-in.
I bought this book because I'm a writer who often submits work to a critical eye, and don't want to make a mistake and have an editor or contest judge think 'a good writer should know better' and have my chance at acceptance and recognition fail. I'm sure I'll continue to make some of the mistakes talked about in the book, but maybe now I'll make fewer.
Words You Thought You Knew shouldn't be thought of as a dictionary since the two serve totally different purposes. Jenna's book tells how some words were originally intended to be used while the dictionary reports how words are used by our society now, even if today's definition differs from the originally intended use. It's up to you to decide how to use any given word, but Jenna's book may give a point of view you might not have known otherwise.
If you're interested in learning more about the English language, how some words were meant to be used, like Jenna's style of writing, and her brand of humor, read the book. If not, don't. I enjoyed the book and found the information interesting, but that's just my opinion.
If you're not familiar with Jenna's work, go to [...] (her website) and look around.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. Reader VINE VOICE on August 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
First off, there are some good things here. Words that are endlessly misused, for example. Words that are truly difficult to differentiate because the differences are more in the connotation than in the actual definition. Words that are often or can be easily used confused. Words nobody bothered to teach you how to understand and use correctly.

Then again, there are also words that should not be in here at all. Words no one cares about (pneu.... -- who cares!). Words that are used too infrequently to be a part of a book like this (bunghole, confit).

And there are the errors. Words that the author defines too narrowly (diet, depression, via); the "preferred" definition isn't the only correct one. Words that can be either different in meaning or synonymous, depending on the context (such as the debate on "inclusion" and "mainstreaming"). Pet peeves are not the same as errors (done, finished, & completed). And the plain wrong (yes, "hysterical" also means "extremely funny.") Being politically incorrect is not grammatically (or any other use of words) incorrect (gyp -- and that's not a definite reference to gypsies; funny, "redneck" wasn't in there).

This book is fine as one of many references, simply because it does have a number of misused words in one place. But be aware that it has errors and tends to be too narrow in its definitions. You will need other resources. Check what you read here against other sources before you take it to heart.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
I've been a high school english teacher for 15 years, and have always considered it important that I use my language well. I bought this book expecting to use it as an occasional reference book, but to my own surprise, I'm reading it cover to cover!
Thanks to the author's interesting, oftentimes humorous, treatment of what could have been a dry, didactic subject, I find myself actually enjoying the reading. And I've found many surprises throughout these pages - "words I thought I knew" but actually had been misusing, as well as many new or previously unused words which I will now "own."
I highly recommend this book to anyone who prides him/herself on using the english language with variety and accuracy.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
As an entrepreneur and business executive I am called upon to give speaches before hundreds of well educated people. Although most of my graduate and post-graduate education was in the sciences, I have always considered the proper use of the English language to be essential in all forms of communication. I cringe when listening to radio announcers, or television news reporters or politicians who commonly and repeatedly maul the English language. As in any craft, be it carpenter, plumber, electrician, physician, or writer, having the best tools that money can buy is not a luxury, as they are a critical to long term success. Ms. Glatzer has created an easy to understand collection of commonly misused and misunderstood words. Her examples of proper word usage are often humorous, which I find to be an added bonus to an excellent English lesson. While I don't see among her credits that she is a teacher, I feel as though she would make an superb educator. I will certainly keep this book next to my dictionary and thesaurus.In her introduction, she states that the English language is ever evolving and therefore what was "proper" a hundred or even fifty years ago may not be "proper" today, and what is "proper" today may not be "proper" a hundred years from now. Ms. Glatzer's book is an excellent reference to keep you from making the mistakes of the past. I would like to see even more words added to her list and perhaps some used and misused colloguialisms but this is not a criticism, merely a wish. I am confident this book will make me a better public speaker and writer.
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