4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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Designed for browsing and recommended to those interested in learning more about words, NTC'S DICTIONARY OF PROVERBS AND CLICHES offers a fairly complete study of common English language sayings.
A wonderful addition to any reference library, this book was created dictionary style: alphabetized by the first word in the saying, with clear definitions of the phrase and good examples of how it is used. Indexed in the back is a 'phrase finder' that highlights the major word in the cliché/proverb.
In the introduction, the editor notes that proverbs are defined as expressions that "sum up situations and give advice in short, terse phrases." Clichés, on the other hand, are often condemned, overused proverbs that indicate a speaker's or writer's complete lack of originality. What's more, the editor disagrees with those who contend that sayings are supposed to "embody the values of the culture that uses them," and proves the point by offering a variety of contradictory proverbs that are used by the same culture. For example "too many cooks spoil the broth" and "many hands make light work."
I would strongly recommend this book to those who do not speak English as a first language and for the rest of us, too, who just like language in general.
-- Regina McMenamin