Most helpful critical review
30 of 41 people found the following review helpful
I must be cleverer than I thought!
on 10 October 2010
I like books about words, grammar, etc., (sad, I know) and I was looking forward to receiving this one. I have to say I was underwhelmed by it.
It's always a bad sign when there are huge borders limiting the amount of actual text on each page. It makes me suspect that the book has had to be padded out. This suspicion was confirmed by some of the content.
Now I'm certainly not Stephen Fry but the revelation that "Dickensian" means "bringing to mind the novels of Charles Dickens" was not a huge shock. I knew that "opaque" means "hard to make out" (and I'm not sure that's a particularly good definition anyway). Is there anyone who doesn't have a reasonable idea what "tinnitus" is or what "tawdry" means?
There was some interest in reading a proper "definition" of a word that you have heard (in reasonably common use) and seeing whether the meaning you had worked out was correct. Having said that, I could have used a dictionary to do that.
Overall disappointing. Seems more like an attempt to rush out something that people will buy as an Xmas stocking filler rather than a genuine attempt to look (in any sort of depth) at interesting words in current use.