Verbal Advantage: Ten Easy Steps to a Powerful Vocabulary Paperback – Large Print, Sep 26 2000
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
(It may be difficult for someone with a knowledge of vocabulary less than 1100 words level, though!)
Most recent customer reviews
Wow. After this, I am lost thinking there is nothing after this one. All others do not even come close, it is worth every penny. you will not regret buying this one.Published on Dec 4 2013 by dove
A previous review, Xavier, was about to buy the $300 CDs, but bought the $15 book instead. Xavier may have saved $285, but a book, even with similar text, is not as effective as... Read morePublished on April 28 2004
This book is fantastic. If you are really serious about improving your vocabulary use the book in conjuction with the tapes and you will be amazed how much your vocabulary grows!Published on Oct. 21 2003 by Jim S.
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... Read morePublished on Aug. 28 2003 by Seattle Brian
After browsing through many vocabulary-building books, I decided to get this one simply because it seemed to have lots of information besides just plain old definitions and... Read morePublished on May 17 2001 by Robert Potter
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