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4.3 out of 5 stars8
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 28 July 2007
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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on 5 February 2004
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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on 15 December 2009
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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on 31 January 2003
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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on 21 July 2014
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on 3 November 2004
The first book in the series was excellent because it was quite fresh as an idea. The second just dishes up more of the same and lacks the freshness of the first book.
If you are a fan of rare words then I advise you to buy this book but otherwise don't bother. Stick with the original.
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on 4 August 2014
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on 25 December 2003
How can one take seriously a book which suggests that 'Infrastrucuture' has "no discernable useful meaning", and that the word 'paradigm' is "pretentious and unnecessary"? I full expected this book to be both fascinating and entertaining. In reality it is neither, even to a dedicated philologist. The Superior Person's Book of Words fails to give consistently derivations, didactic tid-bits or guides to pronunciation.
The book rails against perfectly good modern words while dredging up hideously anachronistic ones, which have fallen into desuetude for perfectly good reason.
Equally, the author feels the need to identify and define words as commonplace as 'amiable', 'impeccable' and 'pragmatism', which even the most ineloquent of potential readers will already have in their lexica.
Meanwhile, the writing exudes the dissmissive attitude of the ineffable bore. The usage examples attempt to be witty, yet while failing to be so they also fail to illustrate well the correct context of the word at hand. Despite this, the book claims to give "practical guidance on how best to use these words in real-life". It does this by prepending the phrase "Herr Doktor" to a number of ostensibly meaningless sentences, apparently in an attempt to render them humorous or, at least, sardonic.
To assimilate the words in this book (and its companion volume) into one's vocabulary would be a lucubration resulting in incomprehensibility.
This book is not without any merit - dedicated word-lovers will find something of interest here. But those looking to achieve lexical superiority and grammatical excellence would be far better advised (and far greater entertained) to seek out Bill Bryson's "Troublesome Words".
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