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Merriam-Webster's Vocabulary Builder Mass Market Paperback – 1 May 2010

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Merriam-Webster; 2nd edition (1 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877798559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877798552
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 10.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Reggie on 5 Nov. 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's a must have for anyone who loves the English language. Highly recommendable!
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By John Biondini on 27 Mar. 2015
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Really good dictionary
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 131 reviews
84 of 88 people found the following review helpful
Vocabulary in Context 1 Aug. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just bought this book and read 5 pages so far. And I love it! I can speak English, my second language, very well. But I want my vocabulary to be as good as a native speaker, so I was looking for a book that only includes high-level vocabulary and shows how to use them in phrases. This book is the answer and more! It groups words by their roots, and gives a little story of the roots at the right level. Under each root, there are usually 3 or 4 words, which I think is a good quantity. I found this effective in learning similar words quickly. Each word is followed by abundant yet short phrases to illustrate its meanings and connotations. The phrases are informative and fun to read. After several roots, you can take quizzes to see how much you have learnt or forgotten. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to build a powerful vocabulary in an effective way.
52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Excellent for undergraduates, journalists, writers. 16 Nov. 2010
By Victor L. Nazaire - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Merriam-Webster's Vocabulary Builder , New Edition 2010 , written by Mary Wood Cornog, will be useful to undergraduates, journalists, editors and all who work in the communications field.

I have personally completed the first Unit out of thirty units ; well, it is money well invested as I felt my brain got a good workout. Here are two terms I definitely enjoyed learning about : reprobate, nestor . Let's see if you can make out their meaning from the following 2 sentences :

1 His wife finally left him, claiming he was a reprobate .

2 The guest of honor was a nestor among journalists .

There is an Introduction to the second edition outlining the 2 goals :

(1) to add a large number of words to your permanent working vocabulary
(2) to teach the most useful of the classical word-building roots to help you continue expanding your vocabulary in the future .

The author provides a knowledge of Greek and Latin roots, those that have produced the largest number of common English words, 250 of them roots.

Pronunciation symbols are provided to help recognize them when you hear them.

The 30 units discuss a total of 1 200 words in detail.
Quizzes folow each 8-word group along with review quizzes at the end of each unit.

Answers and a word index are provided at the end of the pocket book ; you cannot put the book in your pocket but it can be opened and held in one hand ,as it is no longer than an opened hand.

Useful also for GRE and TOEFL students .
58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
How To Double Your Vocabulary 27 Oct. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Despite advertising hype, no ONE book will double your vocabulary, but reading several vocabulary-building books can double your vocabulary. Different vocabulary-building books have different words and different explanations. If you don't learn a word from one book, you can learn it from another book.
Any vocabulary-building book will have many words, a fourth to half the book, that you already understand. You can always skip or skim the easy-to-you words.
Varied, incomplete word selection is another reason for using several books. Some books just take words used on past-standardized tests, neglecting other words. Other books, limit their words to words based on word roots, neglecting others. Often authors have thrown in personal favorite words, even if others rarely use the words. If you see a word in two or three books, it's generally a need-to-know word.
The only weakness of Merriam Webster's Vocabulary Builder, and no book is perfect, is that the word selection is limited to words based on word roots. I have not seen the CD version noted by other reviewers and my review applies only the paperback. The price is great.
Other Books: Cartoon/Mnemonic vocabulary books have their fans who like the mnemonic memory aids, which are useful before tests. But with only one word and one cartoon per page, these books may only have a few hundred words and are expensive per word. Audio vocabulary books such as Elite Word Power, let you hearing each word pronounced correctly, helpful for improving speaking vocabulary.
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
An Easy Vocabulary Builder 11 Jun. 2008
By Stephen Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
An Easy Vocabulary Builder

A Review of "Merriam-Webster's Vocabulary Builder"

by Mary Wood Cornog

ISBN 0-87779-910-5

Copyright 1998

This book 558 pages and is organized into twenty-five study units.

Each of the twenty five-study unit is composed of a series of classical roots. Each root has an explanation.

Following each root/explanation is a list of words based on the classical root. Each modern word has a pronunciation key, followed by a simplified definition and an example. The definitions are good and the examples are well thought-out. Frequent quizzes ensure comprehension.

This book is a good vocabulary builder and is easy to read and use as a self-study guide.

See also:

Merriam-Webster's Everyday Language Reference Set: Vocabulary Builder/Thesaurus/Dictionary

I recommend "Merriam-Webster's Vocabulary Builder" because it is so easy to read. It is a first-class, uncomplicated self-study text.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Valuable to teachers as well as students of the English language 4 Jan. 2013
By Rocco Dormarunno - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been an instructor of freshman English language and writing on a college level for several years. While each college had its own required textbooks for the course, I have always supplemented them with Merriam-Webster's Vocabulary Builder. In the beginning, the reason was two-fold: first, this great little book gave students the chance to learn and use, correctly, new words to help them become better readers and writers; and, second, because it allows students to appreciate the vast pool of influences from which the English language is drawn. Students also appreciate that all this is available in a book that costs them the price of a mocha latte.

However, a recent development has added a third reason for making Merriam-Webster's Vocabulary Builder a required text in my class: technology. Too many new students feel it's appropriate to use "LMAO", "IMHO", "BTW", etc., in their essays. It is not appropriate. Of course, abbreviations have long been a part of our language, but this shorthand is getting students away from real words and their meanings. To me, however, the biggest danger comes from the thesaurus software that is available on every computer. At best, students use alternate words without learning or retaining their meanings. At worst, students are using these words, thinking that they express what they really want to say when they do not. For example, one student used the word "myriad" instead of "many" to describe the number of papers she had to write for a particular class. Yes, she may have had to write MANY papers but not a COUNTLESS NUMBER of them. (The student was not being creative or indulging in hyperbole; she thought "myriad" meant many because the thesaurus offered it to her.)

One final comment, students actually like the book. The affordability aside, several have mentioned that they like "the feel" of the book, that it has a certain "authority" while also being accessible. These reasons may sound NEBULOUS but it's the type of feedback I've received over my MANY (not MYRIAD) years of teaching.
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