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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

on 31 January 2017
Forsyth is funny. And uniquely educational. If 'The Etymologicon' wasn't evidence enough, this must do the trick. It's nice to have such 'high-brow' content conveyed in an accessible and scholarly manner. Excellent.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 1 April 2017
I love explorations into the English language, and this is one of the best. Forsyth deconstructs various forms of rhetoric using examples from Shakespeare to modern pop songs. If you were to read the chapter headings without dipping into the book you'd think this was one long snore-fest, but Forsyth is informative and funny with it. Here is an example from "Metonymy and Synecdoche":
'I wandered lonely as a cloud ... Clouds are not lonely. Especially in the Lake District where Wordsworth wrote that line. In the Lake District clouds are remarkably social creatures that bring their friends and relatives and stay for weeks.'
Or, from the chapter on Hyperbaton:
'adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you'll sound like a maniac.' Who knew?
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on 5 April 2018
If you are a poet or any kind of writer, this book is a feast! Dizzying, confusing and clear. Have to read it a few times to really get it...definitel worth doing if you love the English language.
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on 18 September 2014
Recommended by a good source but seemed a bit old fashioned to start with. But as I get closer to the end I am appreciating the disciplined structure of Rhetoric. I am telling everyone about it. Glad to have it, when I finish I will start reading it again.
Dennis Batterham
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on 22 April 2016
A thoroughly enjoyable read about aspects of the English language that we may not know about but use often when we want to string more than two words together to communicate an idea.
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