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Dimwit's Dictionary: More Than 5,000 Overused Words & Phrases & Alternatives to Them Paperback – 1 May 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Marion Street Press Inc.; 3 edition (1 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933338989
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933338989
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 12.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 611,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Fiske shows how to make the turgid crisp."" --"William Safire, "New York Times"

About the Author

Robert Hartwell Fiske is the editor and publisher of The Vocabula Review, a journal about the English language, and the author of The Dictionary of Concise Writing. He lives in Rockport, Massachusetts.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Jones TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Tagline for the book is More than 5000 overused words and phrases and alternatives to them. This in a nutshell is what the book does. But please do not be fooled into thinking this book is simple or would not be useful. It is a pure nugget amongst many books for writers.

The book is divided into two parts:

Part 1 - gives examples of the hackneyed phrases which have slipped into everyday English. It then goes on to explain why these are tired and outdated. It then goes on to talk about the different forms of English - uneducated, everyday and elegant - and how these can be improved.

Part 2 - The bulk of the book is given over to this. This is where the 5000 words and phrases come in. These are provided in alphabetical order for easy reference. It is a simple matter to look up a phrase and the suggestions for words which could replace it. I am going to open up the book at random and give an example:

Feeling his oats - This is classed as a moribund metaphor. Suggested replacements - exuberant, frisky, lively peppy, vigorous, vivacious

The appendix at the end gives the top 20 Dimwiticism's (overused phrases) in the presses of the world. This is a real eye opener (that's not classed as a dimwiticism in the book: and is also a bit of fun.

So all in all an excellent resource for any writer.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful resource for people wanting to find new and fresh ways of writing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Should Have for All Writers 17 May 2014
By Wendy Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Tagline for the book is More than 5000 overused words and phrases and alternatives to them. This in a nutshell is what the book does. But please do not be fooled into thinking this book is simple or would not be useful. It is a pure nugget amongst many books for writers.

The book is divided into two parts:

Part 1 - gives examples of the hackneyed phrases which have slipped into everyday English. It then goes on to explain why these are tired and outdated. It then goes on to talk about the different forms of English - uneducated, everyday and elegant - and how these can be improved.

Part 2 - The bulk of the book is given over to this. This is where the 5000 words and phrases come in. These are provided in alphabetical order for easy reference. It is a simple matter to look up a phrase and the suggestions for words which could replace it. I am going to open up the book at random and give an example:

Feeling his oats - This is classed as a moribund metaphor. Suggested replacements - exuberant, frisky, lively peppy, vigorous, vivacious

The appendix at the end gives the top 20 Dimwiticism's (overused phrases) in the presses of the world. This is a real eye opener (that's not classed as a dimwiticism in the book: and is also a bit of fun.

So all in all an excellent resource for any writer.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good book for writers and public speakers but for one great flaw 26 Mar. 2014
By Immortelle reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had a hard copy of this book and recently added it to my Kindle for what I thought would be greater convenience. Unfortunately, that's not so. The Kindle edition lacks a proper Table of Contents. Each alphabet needs an individual section and there are none. Consequently, to find a phrase or word in the book I have to search throughout to find what I'm looking for. The publisher needs to format the book correctly, as a dictionary, with individual sections for each alphabet. When that is done I'll give the book five stars. Without that feature it's just a pain in the derriere (foreign word, as classified in the DD)
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
My Wife is Mad At Me Now 24 July 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book after coming across it when searching the term "in spite of, or perhaps because of," which is possibly my least favorite phrase in the language.

I haven't read through the entire thing, yet, but I have read enough that when my wife says things to me like "there's no such thing as never" I point out that she is saying a dimwiticism.

I'll tell you this much: I may recognize a dimwiticism when I hear one, but calling my wife a dimwit? That's dimwitted!
Five Stars 31 Mar. 2015
By Ralph - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
interestingbookdeliveredquicklynocomplaints.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Thoroughly Enjoy 4 Feb. 2010
By Lover of Art - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. It's a great reference for writers. My kids use this book, and I've found them going through it on several occasions. If you're a writer, you need to purchase this book. It gives a freshness to vocabulary and it's very sensible and comprehensible.
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