Customer Review

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly worth it's weight in gold, 19 Sep 2003
This review is from: Figures of Speech: 60 Ways To Turn A Phrase (Paperback)
"Figures of Speech: 60 ways to turn a phrase," by Arthur Quinn (Professor of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley) is truly worth it's weight in gold. This book is not a stuffy academic classroom text...it is a sleek, extremely funny and stimulating resource that will undoubtedly add tremendous value to your knowledge of writing the "Queen's English." Moreover, Professor Quinn's book is super provocative, superbly written and succinct...allowing the reader to go cover to cover in a few short hours.
Quinn challenges the reader..."We are confronted, inescapably, with the intoxicating possibility that we can make language do for us almost anything we want." In other words, the author "thinks outside the box" long before it became fashionable to do so. I'll never forget a groundbreaking banner front-page headline in the New York Daily News back in the 1970's, it read, "We Wuz Robbed!" The headline reported that masked gunmen broke into the payroll office and stole millions in typical New York City lingo. Apparently the editors in the Daily News Building agreed with Quinn's approach to effective writing that "style, is like a frog: you can dissect the thing, but it somehow dies in the process."
Each chapter in this marvelous book is short and compact. My favorite chapters include, Missing Links and Headless Horsemen, Man Bites Dog and Reds in the Red. In a nutshell, Quinn demands that we navigate the jungles of style creatively and includes many figures of speech through out his book to stimulate the learning process. Overall, this book is a joy to read. In the words of the author, "language becomes a prison house only poets can escape...if we do not reject any strict distinctions between ordinary usage and figures of speech."
Bert Ruiz
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