- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Scribner (July 2, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684824558
- ISBN-13: 978-0684824550
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,030,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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THERE'S A WORD FOR IT!: A Grandiloquent Guide to Life
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From Library Journal
Elster is a journalist, radio commentator on language, and author of useful and entertaining previous books on pronunciation (Is There a Cow in Moscow?, Macmillan, 1990). Here in 12 fascinating and funny topical chapters with attached glossaries, Elster plumbs the oceanic depths of the English language. Aimed at the word lover (verbiore, logomaniac, etc.), his collector's collection of obscure and wonderfully exact words concentrates in turn on extraordinary words relating to health and medicine, love and sex, people, religion, politics, academia, and uncommon words for everyday things. An easy-to-read pronunciation is given for nearly every word listed. The style of the essays is conversational, though it resembles a fevered all-night conversation with an amazingly learned and wildly obsessed friend. The list of nearly 600 phobias, arranged alphabetically by the object of fear, is the answer to a reference librarian's prayers. In the same vein as Irwin M. Berent and Rod L. Evans's Weird Words (Berkley, 1995), this book will be in demand by all word mavens and language lovers. Recommended for libraries of all sizes.?Paul A. D'Alessandro, Portland P.L., Me.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Anyone who enjoys playing with the English language will find this compendium charming and at times hysterical. Elster has put together an odd sort of thesaurus, though what he gives here are not synonyms but words for things, states of being, and conditions for which a common word does not exist. For instance, did you know that the word for a person who never laughs is ajelast? Or that humdudgeon is an imaginary pain or illness? The book is separated into amusingly titled chapters, such as "Erotographomania: The Hottest Hifalutin Words about Love and Sex." Unlike most such handbooks, this one would read well cover to cover. A perfect book for dringles with lexiphanicistism (translation: a perfect book for those who like to waste time and who tend to show off with words). Mary Frances Wilkens