HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The superior person's book of words by…
Loading...

The superior person's book of words (original 1979; edition 1982)

by Peter Bowler

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
934514,832 (3.63)8
To greet the holidays, we are gathering into one affordable, attractive package all three of the invaluable volumes that comprise Mr. Bowler's timeless trilogy, & issuing them in a boxed set. The author's purpose in compiling these small, elegant, & edifying works is to give readers "a more finely tuned engine of the language they speak, so they may more readily assert their linguistic superiority over their fellow travellers at the traffic stops of life." Yes, it is all here, a panoply of 1,800 arcane but totally plausible words that neither you nor your loved ones has ever heard, plus textual advice on how to use them to confound your friends, irritate your enemies, & impress your superiors. There's yet more: anecdotes of eccentric scholars, the unbelievable & irrevocable mistakes of the rich & famous, examples of idiotic concepts, & further oddities & curiosities of the so-called intellectual life.… (more)
Member:jxn
Title:The superior person's book of words
Authors:Peter Bowler
Info:Boston : D.R. Godine, 1985, c1982.
Collections:Your library, printbooks
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

The Superior Person's Book of Words by Peter Bowler (1979)

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 8 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
The author contends that "A Superior Person ins not defined by income, class, or sex. A Superior Person uses Superior Speech." He then provides an alphabetical list of some very fun, and definitely obscure words, like vecordious and lucripetous and papuliferous. His definitions and examples of usage are often quite humorous (such as offering as an example of an oxymoron "delicious sauerkraut"), and there are intermittent very funny, whimsical illustrations by Dennis Corrigan. My one complaint is that there is no guide for pronunciation, so whenever I have wanted to use one of these words, I have had to go look it up in another book. Admittedly, I wouldn't have known even to look up the word had I not seen it in this book, but it would have been nice to have everything in one volume. ( )
  nbmars | Jul 31, 2014 |
I do not remember the last time I found the premise of a book to be so off-putting. From the outset, the author states his purpose quite plainly: “Words are not only tools; they are also weapons. The first object of this book is to provide the ordinary man in the street with new and better verbal weapons.” Really? A volume devoted to introducing readers to archaic, little-used words with which they can humiliate and belittle their friends and colleagues? It has been a while since I read Dante, but I think he designated one of the nines circles in the Inferno to people who do things like this.

After introducing many of the words—which are conveniently placed in alphabetical order, although this book falls far short of qualifying as a dictionary—Fowler instructs us on how to best use them to our advantage. For instance, after defining ‘noisome’ as noxious or smelly, he notes that “Much quiet satisfaction can be derived from putting your head around the door of your younger brother’s room, saying ‘It’s rather noisome in here, isn’t it’ and hearing him turn down his stereo as you go on your way.” Hilarious, absolutely hilarious!

Ultimately, this amounts to nothing more than a silly little book of synonyms for words and expressions that are conveyed more simply and effectively thousands of times every single day. Is the goal of such a list to improve our collective speech by making it more colorful or precise? Hardly. Here is the author’s entire entry for ‘mucilage’: “The Superior Person does not use gum, glue, or paste. He or she uses mucilage.” Superior, indeed. ( )
2 vote browner56 | Jan 11, 2011 |
Very Useful
  Ipsofacto | Aug 1, 2008 |
Words
  Budzul | May 31, 2008 |
A short dictionary of obscure English words, with suggestions on how to use them to impress, tease and baffle others. Humourous, but rather silly. ( )
1 vote tripleblessings | Jul 16, 2006 |
Showing 5 of 5
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Be warned in time, James, and remain, as I do, incomprehensible: to be great is to be misunderstood.
Oscar Wilde
Dedication
To Astrid
First words
Prolegomena: Words are not only tools; they are also weapons.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.63)
0.5
1 6
1.5
2 6
2.5 1
3 17
3.5 3
4 25
4.5 1
5 20

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 141,789,931 books! | Top bar: Always visible