15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Clear, concise, useful, intuitive & accessible - it's pretty perfect!,
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This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of English Idioms (4,000+ Idioms) (Penguin Reference Books) (Paperback)
In my job as a copywriter, this has turned out to be a pretty useful book. It's packed full of the sayings or 'Idioms' you've been hearing all your life, and is organised in a way that's intuitive and easy to use. It'll save you time wracking your brains for ideas when you write, as well as explain to you exactly what sayings like 'give a dog a bad name and hang him' (for example) mean.
Each entry gives an explanation and example of use, and all entries are organised in categories for extra easy reference - which are: Colours, Elements, Weather, Time, Life & Death, Trees & Plants, Animals, Birds, Fish, Insects, Body, Mind, Illness & Ailments, Relations, Town & Around, The House, Furniture & Household Articles, Food, Clothes, Ships, The World And Its Places, Languages & Nationalities, Names, Monarchy & Parliament, War & Peace, Weapons, Tools, Numbers, School & Education, Work & Occupations, Money & Valuables, Games & Sports, Music & Theatre, Word & Words.
So, if you're writing a piece on a certain subject (for instance I was writing something the other based on colours) you can simply flick to that section a find all the sayings and idioms you could ever want to on the subject. Also, there is an index so you can look up individual words - this too is laid out in a way that is very quick and easy to use. For example, let's suppose you need a saying that uses the word 'String'. A quick glance in the index and you will see:
String, a second string to one's bow 258/1; harp on the same s.315/10; have someone on a s. 320/13
So you see, you not only get a list of all the saying in the book that use the word string (so you don't have to look up each one individually), you also get directions to the entries should you find a saying you're not familiar with and are unsure what it means... Again, taking the above example - I'm sure most of us are familiar with the idioms and meanings of ' a second string to one's bow' and 'to have someone on a string', but what about 'harp on the same string'?
A quick flick to page 315 - and a read of entry number 10 on that page reveals:
10. to harp on the same string - to make the same point over and over again. 'I wish you wouldn't harp on the same string every time I light a cigarette. I know smoking is bad for your health but I won't give up!'
All in all, a worthwhile and very useful and accessible tool for working writers or people with an interest or love of language. Around 377 pages in length I can see this getting as much use as my Rhyming Dictionary - another item I couldn't live with out: Collins Rhyming Dictionary
The front cover of this book sums it up nicely... from cloud nine to seventh heaven.