8 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Tedious and dull,
This review is from: The Superior Person's Second Book of Words (Hardcover)
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".