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The Superior Person's Book of Words Hardcover – 5 Nov 2001


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (5 Nov. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747553378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747553373
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 780,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

The avowed purpose of this witty little book is to equip the reader to be the superior person of the title by expanding the vocabulary of the rare and arcane ("Secret, hidden. An excellent example of a Superior Word of the first order, ie, one that is on the margin of recognition for most people, is known to many, but used by few."). You can then indulge in the arts of parisology ("The deliberate pursuit of ambiguity in one's language") or charientism ("An elegantly veiled insult"), using terms such as fungible ("Replaceable by, or acceptable as a replacement for, a similar item ... Your sister's latest boyfriend could be referred to as 'one of Belinda's fungibles."). Or challenge the pretentious who insist on using terms such as matrix, parameter or paradigm ("Model, pattern, or example. A pretentious and unnecessary word, normally found only in psychology theses. Never use this word yourself, but be prepared, when it is used by another, to lean forward intently, narrow your eyes, and say, 'Just a moment--do you really mean "paradigm" in that context?' When, somewhat bemused, he avers that he does, you merely raise your eyebrows and remain silent..."). You will also have a remarkable collection of words for minor but serious-sounding illnesses to get you out of doing chores, and be able to drive Scrabble players wild with words ranging from aeaeae ("magic") to zaftig ("desirably plump").

A nicely produced hardback, just the right size for dipping into in bed, this would make an excellent present for your favourite word-lover or word-game fanatic. --Julia Cresswell

About the Author

Peter Bowler has to his name several published books, most of which are, as the French say, introuvable, lending them an intrinsic attraction for those who cultivate the unattainable. He lives with his patient and beautiful wife Diana in an idyllic sub-tropical coastal town, and hopes one day to rule the world.

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ABECEDARIAN a. (i) Arranged in alphabetical order; (ii) elementary, devoid of sophistication. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Russell-Wilks on 28 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book makes very entertaining and informative reading. It is particularly useful for creating veiled insults for the typical "middle management types" who seem to enjoy such abysmal phases as "blue sky thinking" and use words such as paradigm completely out of context. The descriptions given for each word are both funny and interesting. I have given a few copies out to my friends and they've also found it very entertaining.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Feb. 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is engaging, witty and light-hearted – a satisfying (and time-saving) trifle for anyone who enjoys idly flicking through dictionaries in search of interesting and unusual words. Those like the previous reviewer yearning for ‘lexical superiority’ might be advised to look elsewhere. Indeed, given the array of errors of grammar, spelling and word-usage he displays – to say nothing of the absurd verbosity – it is a quest in which he should be earnestly encouraged. But it is entertaining, anyway, to read this ‘dedicated philologist’s denunciation of anachronism rapidly followed by his bewildering misuse of the (very) archaic verb ‘prepend’. The pot calling the kettle nigrous?
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By Mishkalina on 15 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
For word-lovers or even word-lover-haters. I was given this book because I love words, obscure and pedantic, and have a habit of using a diminutive word where a small one might do.

This book gave me all sorts of new words with which to boggle the mind of my family and friends....but it was given to me by someone as a protest against word snobbery who found it equally funny.

Our ante-jentacular conversations are now geared around the quisquous nimiety (perplexing excess) of those who struggle against boondoggling (carrying out trivial work in such a way as to convey the impression of being extremely busy) and hebetation (growing dull or stupid). I also discovered the beautiful excuse of aprosexia (the inability to concentrate).

Happy parisologising!
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Alistair Duncan on 31 Jan. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is fantastic. It contains a large number of words that are no longer in mainstream usage. Many words are those that were popular several centuries ago. The book is therefore useful on two fronts. Firstly it can help you understand some words used in old books and documents, secondly - you can make use of many of the words to totally confuse people or, if you prefer, insult them without them even knowing.
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By djwmps on 21 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
PROBABLY BECAUSE I THINK I'M ONE!!!
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