Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Better Than Great: A Plenitudinous Compendium of Wallopingly Fresh Superlatives Paperback – June 7, 2011
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
...Whether you use this book ... when stuck for a thwackingly good superlative or ... to turbo-charge your vocabulary... you'll find the ... industrial-strength verbal inventiveness that you're seeking. --Chuck Leddy --The Writer magazine, June 2011
...well-written, and engaging.... As a reference tool for writers, Better Than Great is just that. All readers will ... find it supremely fascinating to learn of the terms .... to express greatness.--Barry Silverstein --ForeWord, April 4, 2011
An energetic escape from the literary languor that enwreathes writers and speakers addicted to stale adjectives . . . . Together with two of his earlier works on writing style . . . Better Than Great completes an unmatched triplicity of linguistic perfection. ---George Eberhart, College & Research Library News, Oct. 2011.
Crazy Moon Consulting
"I've yet to come across a Plotnik book that fails to offer sagacious advice for us as writers and editors, this one now included."
Peter P. Jacobi, Editors Only:The Newsletter of Editorial Achievement
"It’s difficult to describe how a thesaurus is entertaining, but the author has managed it. From the sheer number of quality adjectives, I imagine I would find one in this terrific scratch that frabjous compendium."
Portland Book Review
"This book easily provided the most fun I’ve ever had in a thesaurus. To make look-up easy and accessible, Plotnik divides the words into fifteen categories: Great, Sublime, Physically Affecting, Mentally or Emotionally Affecting, Beautiful, Joy-Giving, Large, Exceptional, Intense, Delicious, Trendy, Cool, Wicked Cool, Forceful, and Challenging Belief or Expression. He fronts each chapter with a fun intro that explains the chapter to follow and offers insight into his choices and how to utilize the book to full impact."
"One of today's most distinguished writers on language and writing style a freaking genius-god in the writing world." Jessica Page Morrell, Powell's Books Blog
"[W]hat could be as fabulous, stupendous, showstopping, socko-boffo and epiphanic as this neatly organized, humorous yet helpful 'acclamatory hoard' of words for praising?"
Jim Higgins, Book Editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Plotnik's "acclamatory hoard" is every bit as entertaining as it is useful. And (to lift one phrase) that ain't exactly chopped herring, considering it gives this critic some 6,000 substitutes for feeble old "amazing" and its ilk." Bruce Ingram, film and entertainment critic, Sun-Times Media/Pioneer Press
"Better Than Great is . . . more entertaining and informative than any book of lists has a right to be." Richard Nordquist, About.com/Grammar and Composition
". . . a wide range of fresh superlatives in a number of categories, pulling from rare gems and vintage gold all the way through current phrases influenced by hip-hop. . . . [T]here are plenty of forms of marketing communications that could use of an injection of less-worn adjectives . . . So for writers of all shapes and sizes Better than Great is indeed just that." Adam Sherk, adamsherk.com, News Media, SEO, PR and social media marketing blog
"Do you feel ... sometimes that you're stuck on a couple of words, unable to move beyond them? Well then, we have the book for you!"
Robin Young, "Here and Now," WBUR and NPR affiliates, August 11, 2011.
"Arthur Plotnik is a masterly expert on the use and the writing of the English language . . . a master of superlatives."
Milt Rosenberg, "Extension 720," WGN (Chicago), June 26, 2011
"Offers an energetic escape from the literary languor that enwreathes writers and speakers Together with two of his earlier works on writing styleSpunk & Bite (2007) and The Elements of Expression, Better Than Great completes an unmatched triplicity of linguistic perfection."
College Academic Resources Library
"Arthur Plotnik's Better than Great is a bouquet of perfection, a feel-good, all-purpose A-list Angel Cake of big-league tips on how to turn your complimentary powers into blue chip, berserkely good, yowzwers of social and professional opportunity." Alan Kaufman, author of Jew Boy, A Memoir and editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry
"AMEN-ASTONISHING!" Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate
"For those who find themselves at a loss for praise-worthy words, feel there’s a paucity of acclamatory expressions, or believe we are numbed by the plethora of platitudes that pass for superlatives, Arthur Plotnik’s new book is better than great; it is iridescently indispensable, a bare-knuckled barrel of berserkley fun words." Phil Cousineau, author of Wordcatcher: An Odyssey into the World of Weird and Wonderful Words
"Better than Great comes in the guise of a single-purpose synonym finder. But it's craftier than that. Arthur Plotnik shows us how masterful writers rub words together to make fire." Constance Hale, author of Sin and Syntax
"How to describe this book? Choose any term from pages 7 to 30. I'd call it perfection printed and bound." Bryan A. Garner, author of Garner's Modern American Usage
"Even I loved Art Plotnik's sublimely subversive exercises in adverbs used audaciously." Dave Kindred, author of Morning Miracle: Inside the Washington Post, and adverbophobiac
"Have you used the word 'great' or 'fantastic' or 'awesome' in the last week? Ha! I thought so. Everyone has. And it's getting really really tiresome. In your hands lies a new way of life. Word -adroit Art Plotnik has compiled a collection of hundreds of juicy alternatives to your three favorite superlatives. A feloniously fun bedtime browsing treat, Better Than Great is also an unimpeachably useful daytime reference work. I can't believe I ever got published without it. It is, in a word, ripsniptious! (P.S. Never lend this book to anyone. You will not get it back. That happened to me.)" Rosalie Maggio, author of How to Say It
"...a veritable plea to the masses, especially the portion of the masses that makes a habit of critiquing things. And really, who doesn't?" Heidi Stevens, Chicago Tribune, July 16, 2011
"...delightful, spankingly amusing... Plotnik presents hundreds of words and phrases that will make any conversation a sojourn through paradise... Terri Schlichenmeyer, Shelf Awareness for Readers, July 15, 2011
"I’m just back from . . . singing the praises of the 185 Young Writers who participated in the 7th Annual Mill Creek Young Writers Literacy Institute. The teachers LOVED my newest Writer’s Bookshelf Recommendation: Better Than Great. . . . [The book] is just that - a true landfall of bliss for any lover of words."
Esther Hershenhorn, author and educator, on Teachingauthors.com, August 3, 2011
"If you want to add insane quantities of crackle and sizzle to your writing, look no further than Better Than Great ... a no-holds-barred ... guide for any writer looking to rid themselves forever of the stale, cumbersome baggage of overused and boring superlatives."
Julia Tagliere, Buzzle.com, August 3, 2011
From the Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
This little book is a hybrid dictionary-thesaurus, drawn from a variety of sources as varied as the venerable OED to "Dagrees Great Aussie Slang" and the "Rap Dictionary". Words and phrases are assorted by tone and hue. Is it great? better than great? life changing? There's a word or phrase for it.
The appendices reminded me of a baby name book I flipped through years ago. In this section he provides information on words and phrases which are old but not abused, terms from across the ocean (whichever side of which ocean you are on,) txt-speak; words and acronyms drawn from our fast-paced texting society.
For some it will add spice to your writing or speech, for others, maybe cue you in to what your kids (or parents) are saying. For others still it will allow you to call attention to... those things you wish to call attention to: ebay listings, event announcements, business memos...
and for other still it will elevate you from the slum of linguistic turpitude. (Can I get a bulk discount of a pallet of these to hand to anyone who tacks "alicious" onto anything? If I could do that, maybe it would have a Zoroastrian impact on my existence ;)
I dithered over giving this book 4 or 5 stars.Read more ›
He also provides a tasty quote and little boxes, such as 'vintage gold' for each chapter, and one list of four adjectives that might describe wine. End segments include some textese praise, eponymous adjectives (Napoleonic!) and my favorite--the 'habit breaker' appendix of words to replace tired out zingless words like 'amazing'.
I love words, and it's clear that Plotnick loves them, too, and has spent time and humor collecting and collating this wonderful collection. And, strangely enough, it's hard to read a thesaurus of praise words without feeling...a little happier at the end.
In response to the negative reviews on this book... For those who thrive on precise organization, or who twitch compulsively when facing variability, this may not be the reference for you. However, for those who feel let down by their thesaurus when their brainstorming dead ends at the same old synonyms, this is the book that will get your mind moving once more.
Personally, I find that Plotnik provides just enough organization to make the book searchable, but not so much that the reader feels limited. Whenever I want to find a synonym for a word, I simply decide if my intended meaning falls into one of his fifteen categories. Did I want to convey size? I look under "Large." If I meant to convey a sensation in the body I would look under "Physically Affecting," or if it were a sensation of the spirit I would go to "Sublime" or "Challenging Belief or Expression." This may all sound vague, but I assure you it has worked well for me. A thesaurus nitpicks over semantics. Plotnick cuts to the chase and helps your say what you mean.
One more thing. For those who argued that Plotnik included too many whimsical or nonsensical words, I would respond that whimsy can come in handy when you least expect it. My blog post on cupcakes does not need the corny (and hilarious) term "Viagara on a plate" but if I ever write myself into a corner while describing a delicious barbeque sausage sandwich, I have a feeling it might prove useful. (And hilarious.Read more ›
If you got carried away and tried to use the approach here to express praise (and used a similar approach to come up with your own phrases for things you didn't like), the writing would end up comical, like something out of the fake 40's and 50's Hollywood tabloid articles you find in a James Ellroy novel (those fake articles are funny as anything by the way).
The book has so many silly, non-usable phrases that it becomes hard to find the good ones, much less the great ones. I'd never use this book as a reference. I did enjoy reading it however for an hour or so. It made me think about language in a thoughtful way, and that's always a good thing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Being married to an English Teacher / Librarian, I have felt unarmed for years. HA! Now I can hold my own! Love it!Published 2 months ago by Eloy Zambrano
It's rather humorous, but a somewhat difficult read. It gives you a lot of synonyms. If you are TIRED OF USING AND HEARING PEOPLE SAY "AWESOME", it will give you other... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Michael A. Howorko
A great reference when you need fast word with bite. Not for casual reading. Just buy it, go to the TOC, and select the idea you need. Voila! Instant word.Published 11 months ago by Theppin
Loved this book. Have used many of the ideas in it, so I keep it close by.Published 18 months ago by dugie