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Books  >>  Education

Mark Forsyth

The Elements of Eloquence

Mark Forsyth The Elements Of Eloquence Secrets Of The Perfect Turn Of Phrase
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Biographical note:

Mark Forsyth, author of The Horologicon and The Etymologicon, was given a copy of The Oxford English Dictionary as a christening present and has never looked back. He is the creator of The Inky Fool, a blog about words, phrases, grammar, rhetoric, and prose. He has contributed to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Huffington Post. He lives in the UK.

Main description:

From classic poetry to pop lyrics, from Charles Dickens to Dolly Parton, even from Jesus to James Bond, Mark Forsyth explains the secrets that make a phrase—such as “O Captain! My Captain!” or “To be or not to be”—memorable.

In his inimitably entertaining and wonderfully witty style, he takes apart famous phrases and shows how you too can write like Shakespeare or quip like Oscar Wilde. Whether you’re aiming to achieve literary immortality or just hoping to deliver the perfect one-liner, The Elements of Eloquence proves that you don’t need to have anything important to say—you simply need to say it well.

In an age unhealthily obsessed with the power of substance, this is a book that highlights the importance of style.

Review quote:

Praise for The Horologicon

“This is not a book to be gulped down at a sitting, but gently masticated to be savored in small bites…[Forsyth’s] irreverent commentary on the history of the terms and when to use them is worth reading…Every page contains a new jewel for logophiles and verbivores everywhere.”—Publishers Weekly

“Forsyth’s fascinating entries employ erudite humor and playful historical anecdotes to make these dusty old words sound fresh again. In doing so, he succeeds in creating a book to be not just browsed but absorbed. Get ready to be impressed and entertained.”—Library Journal

Praise for The Etymologicon

“The Facebook of books…Before you know it, you’ve been reading for an hour.”—The Chicago Tribune

“A breezy, amusing stroll through the uncommon histories of some common English words…Snack-food style blends with health-food substance for a most satisfying meal.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The stocking filler of the season...How else to describe a book that explains the connection between Dom Perignon and Mein Kampf.”—Robert McCrum, The Observer


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