Buy Used
£0.01
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by musicMagpie
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Buy with confidence from a huge UK seller with over 2m ratings, all items despatched next day directly from the UK. All items are quality guaranteed.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Lost For Words Audio CD – Audiobook, 8 Nov 2004

3.9 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Audio CD, Audiobook
"Please retry"
£14.97 £0.01
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (8 Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840329319
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840329315
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 14.3 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,507,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Humphrys is passionate about language - and very funny too (Rod Liddle)

Greatly enjoyable (Simon Hoggart, Guardian)

for all those who care about the English language (Ann Widdecombe, New Statesman)

It is always exhilarating to read a book which says what so many of us think (Jonathan Keates, Spectator)

Timely and lively (Sunday Telegraph)

Let us be very clear about this from the start: John Humphrys is a Good Thing (Evening Standard)

the Jack Russell of the Today programme has now chosen to take some well aimed snaps at solecism, jargon, cliche and weasel words... It is always exhilarating to read a book which says what so many of us think (Spectator)

I commend Citizen Humphrys (Daily Mail)

You will have fun with this book (Guardian)

an exquisite sensitivity to the misuse of the English language (The Sunday Times)

Book Description

Presenter of Radio 4's Today and BBC1's Mastermind, John Humphrys shares the common outrage at the misuse of the English language and sets out his Campaign for Real English.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have just read the other Amazon reviews of this book and I'd like to start by saying that I find it exasperating when people criticize an author for giving their personal opinion when that author states quite clearly at the start of the book that they are giving their personal opinion!
This is John Humphry's view of the sad decline in the correct use of English. He's not an academic, so this is not a rule book (though you may well learn something - I certainly did). He's an experienced journalist and broadcaster, and as such he is an expert at spotting when people use fancy words to say very little. There are some fantastic examples in here of advertising jargon and political guff. And he's not afraid to name and shame the worst offenders. The section on business-speak gives a mind-boggling selection of non-words. I have to confess that I now regularly threaten to 'de-individuate' my sons when they don't get ready quickly enough in the morning.
Humphrys accepts that English is constantly evolving and he acknowledges that he is intensely irritated by some linguistic developments that are happily accepted by others. There is certainly an element of Grumpy Old Man-ism here but personally I find that quite entertaining.
In summary this book is a personal view of the abuse and misuse of English. Keep that in mind and you won't go far wrong.
Comment 56 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on 17 Nov. 2004
Format: Hardcover
This has been a great read and is more than just waking up with John Humphrys in the morning. The book is funny and sharp in its capturing the essence of what our language is going through. I loved the bits where he takes the language of politicians and exposes the conscious manipulation. It's more than about politics;everyone who misuses language (and there are a lot of them about including himself) gets caught in his sights. But it's not a pedantic book. It's very entertaining.
Comment 83 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on 25 Nov. 2004
Format: Hardcover
This really is a good book. I thought at first it was going to be a Humphry's rant, which it is but it is also very much more.The first half of the book is about mangling language. Humphreys cares passionately that language should be used to communicate and it upsets him when it does the opposite ,either deliberately or through neglect. He uses examples, written and spoken, from a variety of sources to illustrate mangling. however, I think the book is best when Humphrys shows us how politicians,advertisers and others deliberately mangle language to hide the truth or to communicate an idea so losely that they cannot be held accountable for it. He shows how language can be used to communicate along a spectrum running from clarity to deception. But he's not a pendant. He believes that almost every language rule can be broken as long as it is clear. Readers will also discover that they are not the only ones to listen to the weather forecast but hear nothing. Humphrys manages all of this with great humour.
Comment 61 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. Its author knows enough about our language to hold the reader's attention and make his points in a light-hearted, witty way.

Politicians, academics and celebrities' language is designed to achieve different things: from changing an opinion to forcing the case for war; from buying a useless product to offering support for twisted agendas.

They're all at it, the buggers.

The book points out some of the methods, and the culprits identified by the author are treated with gentlemanly restraint. Even Alistair Campbell gets off lightly, which bemused me. John Humphrys makes a crashing error, though.

He wrote that the flabby, convoluted language used by critics of modern art validates the art. No argument from me on that point, and he backed up his argument with examples. But Humphrys still refers to the garbage produced by Tracey Emin as "work". That is unforgivable. Describing her junk as "work" places it alongside long hours in the office or on the building site. Using that word validates her ludicrous offerings. He makes a sharp and lethal point with one sentence, and then destroys his clear thinking with only one word.

Work.

Using that word in that way appears to be an example of subtle - almost sub-concious -cap-doffing to people who have mistaken pretension for genius. It's only work if you would rather be doing something else.

Another small gripe is Humphrys' use of the semi-colon. He hardly bothers. Now that is okay. Semi-colons are a thing of choice. They do tend to loosen the belt of the prose, though. They let the writing breathe a bit.

I enjoyed reading this book. I felt that I had learned some things that were worth learning by reading it.

Much obliged to ya, guv.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I fall somewhere in between these two reviews.
My wife thought that this book was excellent. I thought it was OK - like "The Closing of the American Mind", its problem is that it is too subjective - the author seems to be equating what he likes with what is right (and yes, as the first reviewer wrote, in "one-size fits all"). As a journalist, Mr Humphrys has the right to expect people to communicate effectively and accessibly when they face him. However, the same rules don't apply to other fields in which language is used. Of course, there are some circumstances when people hide their lack of brain, ideas, originality etc behind jargon. But there are other times when technical terms are used to communicate ideas that don't yet have common currency - that is how language develops. Humphrys seems to be unaware of this.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback