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Words Fail Me [Hardcover]

Teresa Monachino
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.95
Price: 7.16 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

12 Jun 2006
In this quirky new title designer and typographer Teresa Monachino rounds up and breaks down a variety of unruly words: words lacking in integrity, misleading words that do not mean what they say, words that mean more than they say, words with inconsistent pronunciation or spellings that are just plain cruel! Using striking and witty graphic design the author demands answers to such troublesome questions as, why is abbreviation such a long word, does monosyllabic really need five syllables and why is lisp so hard to say if you have one?

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press Ltd (12 Jun 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071484635X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714846354
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 7.5 x 0.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


'A book that gently subverts and questions the art of expression...filled with gentle humour and genuinely interesting anachronisms of the English language, all set in Monachino's immaculate typography.'(Design Week)

About the Author

Teresa Monachino is an award-winning designer and typographer. Currently director of 999 Design she has overseen many varied projects and commissions for a number of high-profile clients. She lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words 21 Oct 2009
By A. Gray
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Words Fail Me

For anyone interested in words at all, this is an extremely interesting little book. Teresa Monachino was really inspired when she wrote it - it has very few pages with only one word or sentence to a page; some of these pages specify the difference in words that are spelt the same or in some cases words/sentences which mean the opposite of what they imply. There is so much more to this little book but I felt it was very much worth the small amount of money that I spent on it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't live up to expectations 5 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is quite an amusing book but actually rather light on content; I flicked through it when it arrived and about five minutes later, found that I'd finished it. Makes some interesting observations about language but not that interesting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it!!! 22 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a work of genius. Although short, it shows the English language for what it is - complicated and backwards!! Every page will open your eyes to things we've taken for granted and at the same time make you smile.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth a read 25 Nov 2008
as a skint student i felt this book for a start was over priced for its small content, in many cases 1 word per page, however i was intrigued by the title as no boubt you are..

I wasnt quite sure what to expect, dissapointed at first i began to flick through the pages not really paying attention to its content, as i began to read an understand the meanings i found myself fascinated by the simple ideas regardin anagrams, or breaking up words to reveal contradictory words. for a small book, i find it the most picked up and talked about of my collection.

Worth a read.. and worth every penny..
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For semantic mavens only 28 Sep 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Book Description above will give you a pretty good idea about the contents of this word-play book. Divided into these chapters: Contradictionary, Antigrams, Ambitexterity, Pleonasties, Antagonyms, Oxycretins and (sic)Note. Each gives examples of the (delightful) obfuscation the English language springs on the unwary and will probably take you less than ten minutes to read the 144 pages.

OK, I spent less than ten minutes reading it but surely the visual presentation will keep me occupied for longer? If only. Nearly all of the pages are designed in a very minimalist way, one typeface (17 point Gill Sans I fancy) and mostly in this size. Because so many of the examples are a word or two on each page there is plenty of empty space throughout the book. As the author is a designer I would have thought this would have been the ideal editorial format to have the contents displayed in a much more creative way. Herb Lubalin would have had such fun!

This is really the kind of item that a trendy ad boutique would give away as a Christmas keepsake to its clients rather than a book to buy.

***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
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