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The Lexicon: A Cornucopia of Wonderful Words for the Inquisitive Word Lover First Edition
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Those who find their equanimity challenged by the lucubrations of William F. Buckley Jr. will surely see their torpor evanesce after reading The Lexicon. Monosyllabically: if it bugs you when you read words you don't know, this book will help. Buckley is renowned (and sometimes unfairly reviled) for his extensive working vocabulary, from which he unerringly picks the right word for every occasion. The Lexicon is a pocket guide to his esoterica with several hundred entries, each concisely defined and accompanied by an example of its use from his writings, which is quite a handy feature. For example:
lucubrate (verb) To discourse learnedly in writing.It is a sign of his skill as a writer that the book may be read for pleasure. Illustrations by Arnold Roth add to the enjoyment, making this the perfect introduction to Buckleyian erudition. --Rob Lightner
Under the Eisenhower program, one could lucubrate over constitutional rights and freedoms and forever abandon captured American soldiers.
From Library Journal
Buckley is a wordsmith extraordinaire, his speech and writing regularly peppered with arcane vocabulary. This book, previously published as part of Buckley's linguistic compendium, The Right Word (LJ 12/96), brings together a list of his favorite words, each with a citation from one of his many published works. Words like epigone, nugatory, and rodomontade will stretch the frontiers of most readers' vocabulary, and the illustrations by Arnold Roth are a perfect accompaniment to the text. This would be a great choice for students studying for the SATs or for anyone who loves language?it's certainly more useful, and more fun, than those word-a-day calendars. Highly recommended for all collections.?Lisa J. Cihlar, Monroe P.L., WI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Now I have to get the dvds to get what the book can't give ....... the "expressions" to go with the words!
Like a previous review, I too wish the pronunciations would have been included in the book. Lexicons will STILL be a dictionary for me.
You may have guessed that I am a liberal to the core but I've always loved to watch, listen to and read WFB. Anything he had to say was pretty interesting to me, purely because of what he said, and, almost as important, the way he said it.
I am a long-time "word junkie", but I only recently came across this book, I'm sorry to say. What makes this particular volume truly unique is that the list of words, the definitions of the words, and the all-important citations of the words are all from WFB himself. The wonderful contextual examples all come from the WFB's own writings, and it is obvious that he was comfortable with these difficult words and knew them well enough to use them properly. It's amazing how many of the "hard" words you hear and see and read are actually in this book. When I pick up one of these, I always look for a group of particular words, which, to me, are mandatory for inclusion. These words are: epistomology, inchoate, jejune, orotund, and quotidian. Not surprisingly, all are included here.
I would have given the book five stars if (1) it had more words to make it more complete; (2) had pronunciations (I'm guessing that I was comfortable in pronouncing 85-90% of the words, however); and (3) had etymologies of the words (but of course, these can be found in a dictionary).
For a "logophile", this is certainly an indispensible book. Too bad that someone didn't have the bright idea of making a DVD or series of DVD's of this book, with WFB the star, simply expounding, in his inimitable way, on the wonders of language. For me, this is one of the better books of this kind mainly because of that piquant WFB touch.