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Verbal Advantage: Ten Easy Steps to a Powerful Vocabulary Paperback – Large Print, Sep 26 2000


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Verbal Advantage: Ten Easy Steps to a Powerful Vocabulary + Word Power Made Easy + Merriam-Webster Vocabulary Builder
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Reference; large type edition edition (Sept. 26 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375709320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375709326
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.5 x 20.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Charles Elster is the author of several books on language, and is the writer and host of the weekly public radio program "A Word to the Wise." His commercials have been featured on NPR's "Morning Edition".

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Over the years I have tried hard to increase my vocabulary and enhance my English skill. Among the many books, audiotapes and techniques I have tried, I am confident that this book is by far the most productive, efficient and inexpensive tool to improve one's vocabulary. May I also add "entertaining?" The author does a superb job in keeping the reader interested while reading the book - page after page. (I accredit this to author's teaching approach, which is personal, detail oriented and full of enthusiasm.)
This book isn't limited to just telling you what the words mean. It actually discusses their history, mistakes made by people due to nuances of meaning among similar words, author's personal experience from observing how people use them in various settings. The author's sincerity in trying to help improve one's vocabulary is evident in every page of this book.
You will not find the usual dry quality of other vocabulary builders that often drive one to boredom. Like one of the readers mentioned below, you will actually feel your brain start working as you start reading this book.
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Format: Paperback
I never thought that I would be writing a review of a book, let alone a book dedicated to building one's vocabulary...but here it is.
In short, I'm writing this review while I am purchasing my 2nd copy of the book...as my girlfriend is constantly "stealing" this book from me to read.
This book has several excellent points.
1. The author divides his vocabulary building "program" into 10 different levels, and lets the user progress from easier words to much more esoteric words at the very last levels (anyone know the meanings for what "tergiversation", "crepuscular", "hieratic", "fugacious", "or "glabrous"?).
2. Each word is clearly defined, and the author provides a plethora of synonyms (and relevant antonyms) and explains the nuances among the different synonyms.
3. The author provides highly amusing side notes on various words, especially related to the "beastly" mispronunciations and wrong use of certain words.
4. Each level has around 50 words, and they are broken down into sections of 10 words each. This makes it convenient for those who do not have alot of time, as you can read a section at a time.
All in all, I'm halfway through the book, and I can't wait to get through it...not just because I learned some new words in this book, but because this book has provoked me into buying a new Merriam-Webster dictionary and reading all types of materials that I once eschewed because they were not within the domain of what I already knew!
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By A Customer on March 20 2002
Format: Paperback
I don't usually take time to write a review about books I read, but I will for this book. It is an exceptional book.
The words are carefully chosen and precisely defined. The author has superb diction, and he really makes a sincere attempt to impart some of that knowledge to the reader. I have bought many vocabulary books and have been disappointed many times. Most vocabulary books list too many arcane words, do little to help the reader with pronunciation, and often rely on absurdly contrived examples to help the reader with usage. Verbal Advantage stresses proper pronunciation and gives realistic examples of the words used in context.
Kudos to Mr. Elster.
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By ,SS on Nov. 19 2002
Format: Paperback
If you just finished 1100 words and are looking for a vocabulary bood, as good as that, this is the book you should buy. Some of the vocabularies are the ones you learnt in 1100 words, so you can review. There are a lot new words as well. If you liked 1100 words, don't miss this one.
(It may be difficult for someone with a knowledge of vocabulary less than 1100 words level, though!)
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Format: Paperback
I was just about to purchase the complete CD series of this item online for $300 when I found this book at a nearby Borders store. I just saved myself $285!! And from reading all the reviews, I belive I've made a very wise "self-improvement" investment. Granted the CD's would help somewhat with certain pronunciations, but the book has a very useful key guide to guide along as well.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a perfect complement to the Verbal Advantage Audio Cassettes or can stand alone. Everything that is covered on the tapes is in the book. You just need to decide whether you want an audio format costing close to 300 dollars or a print format which is under 20.
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Format: Paperback
Charles is masterful. This is more than just another vocab book--it covers a whole bunch more including usage, pronunciation and other gems about the English language. I highly recommend both the audio program and the books, as well as the author's website
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