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The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase von [Forsyth, Mark]
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Praise for The Horologicon

“This is not a book to be gulped down at a sitting, but gently masticated to be savored in small bites…[Forsyth’s] irreverent commentary on the history of the terms and when to use them is worth reading…Every page contains a new jewel for logophiles and verbivores everywhere.”—Publishers Weekly

“Forsyth’s fascinating entries employ erudite humor and playful historical anecdotes to make these dusty old words sound fresh again. In doing so, he succeeds in creating a book to be not just browsed but absorbed. Get ready to be impressed and entertained.”—Library Journal

Praise for The Etymologicon

“The Facebook of books…Before you know it, you’ve been reading for an hour.”—The Chicago Tribune

“A breezy, amusing stroll through the uncommon histories of some common English words…Snack-food style blends with health-food substance for a most satisfying meal.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The stocking filler of the season...How else to describe a book that explains the connection between Dom Perignon and Mein Kampf.”—Robert McCrum, The Observer


From classic poetry to pop lyrics, from Charles Dickens to Dolly Parton, even from Jesus to James Bond, Mark Forsyth explains the secrets that make a phrase—such as “O Captain! My Captain!” or “To be or not to be”—memorable.

In his inimitably entertaining and wonderfully witty style, he takes apart famous phrases and shows how you too can write like Shakespeare or quip like Oscar Wilde. Whether you’re aiming to achieve literary immortality or just hoping to deliver the perfect one-liner, The Elements of Eloquence proves that you don’t need to have anything important to say—you simply need to say it well.

In an age unhealthily obsessed with the power of substance, this is a book that highlights the importance of style.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 861 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 256 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 042527618X
  • Verlag: Berkley (7. Oktober 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #226.672 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.7 von 5 Sternen 78 Rezensionen
42 von 44 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The best book on tropes ever written--not hyperbole. 1. Dezember 2014
Von Rick Skwiot - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This sentence describing a dismal dinner is, says Mark Forsyth, "perhaps the greatest anadiplosis" ever written:

"If the soup had been as warm as the wine, and the wine as old as the fish, and the fish as young as the maid, and the maid as willing as the hostess, it would have been a very good meal."

The anadiplosis, a figure of speech where the last word in a phrase or sentence becomes the first word in the next, is but one of 39 such rhetorical devices that Forsyth, who blogs as The Inky Fool, wittily describes in "The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase," released in the USA in October 2014 by Berkley Books. In it he uses ample examples of deft phrasings from Shakespeare, Churchill, Oscar Wilde, Lennon & McCartney and more to explicate all manner of trope.

In it you will learn that syllepsis results from using one word in two incongruous ways, as did Dorothy Parker when commenting on her small apartment: "I've barely enough room to lay my hat and a few friends."

And that isocolon employs "two clauses that are grammatically parallel, two sentences that are structurally the same," as Winston Churchill did in describing Field Marshall Montgomery: "In defeat, unbeatable; in victory, unbearable."

The book is a treasure for writers, public speakers, boulevardiers and anyone who wants to sound smart and witty. As Forsyth posits: "For though we have nothing to say, we can at least say it well."

To say that his book is not without its uses would be, I learned, an example of litotes, understatement that results from affirming something that denies its opposite." As when, says Forsyth, Emperor Hirohito announced to his people, after two atomic bombs had been dropped on them, that "the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage."

This is a fine book, a great read and a valuable reference.
22 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen How to make your words sing. 16. November 2014
Von G. J. Martin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This is no dry text book on rhetoric; It's a valuable tool for anyone engaged in communication.
The Elements of Eloquence explains the techniques that can be employed to make phrases more engaging and memorable. By looking at work from such diverse sources as The Beatles, Yoda and Shakespeare, Forsyth explains the 'hows and whys' of good writing.

If you ever wondered why certain phrases seem so memorable or why some classic literature seems to sing with a richness and poetic clarity; this book goes a long way in showing you how it's done. The section explaining how Shakespeare transformed the passages of a history book he was referencing into the beautiful passages used in 'The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra' is the highpoint of the book for me. That section alone is worth the price of this book.

This book covers well known devices such as Alliteration,
'Full fathom five thy father lies.' As the author notes, just expressing the same thought any other way--e.g. 'your father's corpse is 9.144 meters below sea level'-- is the difference between being considered a great poet, or just being a coast guard with some bad news.
Chapter 24 covers Chiasmus; a favorite of American Presidents.
'You stood up for America, now America must stand up for you.'

'Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.'

Other tools such as the rhetorical question and Hyperbole are explained using examples both ancient and modern. To be honest I'd never heard of many of the techniques before reading this book, but now I'm noticing them as they are employed in advertising, speechmaking and literature.

I try to read one chapter a day and it 's been a great help for my own writing.The chapters flow well into each other and as with his other books; this book contains a lot of humor and fascinating historical insights. 39 techniques are covered; from well known to rather obscure, but I'm sure anyone who reads this book will come away inspired and enlightened.
14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The "science" of English communication 16. Januar 2015
Von A Red Head - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Wow. I am an engineer. I always found that some phrases, speeches, and personal notes really reached me, but I never understood the technique of rhetoric. Forsyth describes a couple of dozen in a witty commentary which first defines, then gives examples and often used within his commentary. I will never remember the names of many, but I have new respect for those who are eloquent and new tools to communicate myself.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen One of the most dog-eared books in my library. 12. Januar 2015
Von Openbar - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This book has been truly fun. It's now one of the most dog-eared books in my library. I have felt the impact of these rhetorical figures in the writing of others, but as the author says, have only read or used them haphazardly. Now I can identify them -- give something a name and make it real -- and, I hope, use them in my own writing. It's worthy enough that I'm now compiling a cheat-sheet checklist of the some of the figures and examples he uses to aid in reviewing my own compositions, to see if inserting one or more of these figures will make the presentations more compelling.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Reader-Friendly Guide to Eloquence 23. Februar 2015
Von K. Russell - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
What it's not: a dictionary, an encyclopedia, or a reference book that would be tedious to read all the way through.

What it is: a rarity--a rhetoric manual that's so much fun to read, it can make you laugh out loud in a public library.

What it can be, especially for writers: a liberation. A keeper among keepers. A portal to the universe of catchy, witty, legendary eloquence.

What it can be for any reader: Riveting!
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