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AN Exaltation of Larks: The Ultimate Edition [Paperback]

James Lipton
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 7 1993

An "exaltation of larks"? Yes! And a "leap of leopards," a "parliament of owls," an "ostentation of peacocks," a "smack of jellyfish," and a "murder of crows"! For those who have ever wondered if the familiar "pride of lions" and "gaggle of geese" were only the tip of a linguistic iceberg, James Lipton has provided the definitive answer: here are hundreds of equally pithy, and often poetic, terms unearthed by Mr. Lipton in the Books of Venery that were the constant study of anyone who aspired to the title of gentleman in the fifteenth century. When Mr. Lipton's painstaking research revealed that five hundred years ago the terms of venery had already been turned into the Game of Venery, he embarked on an odyssey that has given us a "slouch of models," a "shrivel of critics," an "unction of undertakers," a "blur of Impressionists," a "score of bachelors," and a "pocket of quarterbacks." This ultimate edition of An Exaltation of Larks is Mr. Lipton's brilliant answer to the assault on language and literacy in the last decades of the twentieth century. In it you will find more than 1,100 resurrected or newly minted contributions to that most endangered of all species, our language, in a setting of 250 witty, beautiful, and remarkably apt engravings.

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About the Author

James Lipton is the creator, executive producer, writer, and host of Inside the Actors Studio, which is seen in eighty-nine million homes in America on the Bravo network, and in 125 countries, and has received fourteen Emmy nominations. He is the author of the novel Mirrors, which he then adapted and produced for the screen, and of the American literary perennial An Exaltation of Larks, and has written the book and lyrics of two Broadway musicals. His television productions include Jimmy Carter’s Inaugural Gala, the first presidential concert ever televised; twelve Bob Hope birthday specials, reaching record-breaking audiences; and The Road to China, the first American entertainment program from the People’s Republic. He is a vice president of the Actors Studio, is the founder and dean emeritus of the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University, has received three honorary PhDs, is a recipient of France’s Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Emmy by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An exaltation of larks Nov. 25 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The new version of this book now has an index, with the ability to enter the names given to groups
This feature was absent from the old version
This latest version has twice the number of pages compared with the old one
The artwork depicting the different group is delightful
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brouse of Readers.. Nov. 8 2003
This is simply a wonderful book that you should have on your shelf.Lipton did a pile (there,s gotta be a better word) of work coming up with the source of many of these words.When one doesn't exist;his off-the-wall mind creates one.
Just a few gems:
An Advance of Authors
A Royalty of best-selling Authors
An Engima of Mystery Writrs
A Bosum of Romance Writers
A Blizzard of Quotes
A Tedium of Footnotes
A Providence of Publishers
THis ought to wet your appetite..but how come no word for a collection of bibliophiles . Is a Reading of Books legit for a bunch of books?
Maybe you get the point;it's great fun to come up with your own.
By the way;we know about puns,aphorisms,maxims,and so on,but what is the term for these 'collection' words?
You gotta get this book ,learn a few new ones every day,make up new ones,drive everyone around you bonkers,or even worse,have them imitating you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fun for wordsmiths June 19 2003
This is a great book for those who love words. I ordered it because I was fascinated with the fact that a group of ravens is called a "murder." I then began to wonder what other groups of things might be called. Eventually I was led to this book. It is separated into entities, with lots of Victorian-type illustrations. A good addition to the reference library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid curiosity July 1 2002
James Lipton's "An Exaltation of Larks" is a splendid curiosity and a must for any etymology lover's bookshelf. In it, Lipton gathers together virtually every known existing grouping phrase (as in a murder of crows, a leap of leopards, and, naturally, an exaltation of larks) and even admits to adding a few of his own--ones which he felt ought to be in use, even if they weren't already. The result is exhilarating good fun.
A few of the choicer phrases are shown below, although of course it's difficult to pick out just a few gems when there is a treasure trove within these covers:
A rash of dermatologists;
A pound of Englishmen;
A solidarity of Poles;
An outback of Aussies;
A quicksand of credit cards;
A thrill of brides;
A convulsion of belly dancers;
An insanity of clauses.
Lipton gives all sorts of fascinating background on the existing phrases and provides many good reasons for the ones he makes up. The result is a hoot, and lots of fun to read aloud to your friends and family. Accompanying the text are superb, crisp old engravings of everything under the sun, each appropriate to the particular section in which it appears (sections include "Romance and Raunch," "People, Places & Things," "The Unknown," "The Unexpected," "Professions," and more). "An Exaltation of Larks" is the perfect gift for the word-lover who has everything else.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference book Nov. 30 2011
This is great for someone who loves the English language - not only full of information, but really fun to look at and pick up from time to time.
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This book is absolutely fascinating, and I thought it would by out of print by now. I am thrilled that there is a new updated version, and am going to order two copies; one for us and one for some friends in England. Words are a wonderful thing and Mr. Lipton has created a super read with all of his collectives!
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