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Customer Review

16 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steroids for the Use of the English Language, 7 July 2007
This review is from: The Major Works (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
When I dropped out of high school at the tender age of 14, ostensibly for a career of glue-sniffing and joy-riding with my peers round the graffiti-sprayed council estates of my native Irvine, I was the equivalent to the 'seven-stone weakling' in terms of using the English language.

Brought up on an unhealthy diet of comic books, tabloid newspapers, and football magazines (Shoot, Match Weekly, etc) and 'educated' in a Socialist-inspired 'comprehensive' school, I wasn't really equipped for my future career as an international journalist. But then something miraculous happened - I discovered 'THE DOCTOR,' as we acolytes refer to him, and started mentally working out on his long, finely wrought sentences.

At first, each seemingly interminable sentence was like trying to swim the English Channel - I thought I would drown before reaching the other end - but, somehow, each time I managed to survive and found myself on dry land, confused and wet, but nevertheless alive and raring to have another go.

In the months that followed, THE DOCTOR's erudite style became Mother's milk to me as I progressively beefed up my English. This enabled me to grab a place at the prestigious university of Thames Polytechnic and, then, on graduation, to a career writing for a wide range of excellent publications, including Riff Raff, Tokyo Notice Board, and the Wall Street Journal.

The great thing about THE DOCTOR's prose is that he uses a disproportionate number of abstract nouns, which means you have to mentally provide your own examples. At first, this can be extremely challenging, but if you stick with it, your brain will become, as mine has, a massive, potent and expressive tool.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Jul 2011 11:39:48 BDT
Velvet says:
As someone who was brought up on Bunty, Misty and reading the back of Frosties cereal packets for the free gifts, and putting up with all the loudmouth, pregnant-wannabees nohopers in a socialist comprehensive school, but did not have the fortune to come across Johnson till late in life, I look forward to reading this book, and look forward to the challenge of working his prose out.

It is going to be a considerable leapforward but fortunately have got a boyfriend who went to Oxford ,despite being in a comprehensive, to help if I get horribly stuck.

Despite having being in a glue sniffing, drug infested comprehensive, I have just discovered that one of my relatives was a good chum of Samuel Johnson. And she wasn't involved in an affair or had zillions of kids out of wedlock. I suppose as a comprehensive girl, I must look up to types like her, not oiks from the sink estates.
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