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Figures of Speech: 60 Ways To Turn A Phrase Paperback – Nov 1 1995

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (Nov. 1 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880393026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880393024
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 0.9 x 21.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #575,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Paperback
What Strunk & White did for syntax, Arthur Quinn does for rhetoric in this slim delightful book. The 60 figures covered enable sentences to say more than they mean, resonating with the writer's intent. Through examples drawn from sources as diverse as Homer, the Bible, Shakespeare, Romantic poetry and Abraham Lincoln's speeches, Quinn shows that concepts like metonymy and synecdoche, far from being erudite, are pervasive in the best literature.
Anyone with an interest in effective writing will enjoy and benefit from this book.
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Format: Paperback
"A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms" provides a more complete study, but "Figures of Speech" is more user-friendly, more entertaining, more compact, more useful. "Handlist" proved to be more scholarly, "Figures" more practical. "Handlist" arranges the figures alphabetically, "Figures" by type. "Handlist" gives a few examples, "Figures" many. I found the examples in "Figures" to be lyrical, the commentaries whimsical, the results educational.
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Format: Paperback
"Figures of Speech: 60 ways to turn a phrase," by Arthur Quinn (Professor of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley) is truly worth it's weight in gold. This book is not a stuffy academic classroom text...it is a sleek, extremely funny and stimulating resource that will undoubtedly add tremendous value to your knowledge of writing the "Queen's English." Moreover, Professor Quinn's book is super provocative, superbly written and succinct...allowing the reader to go cover to cover in a few short hours.
Quinn challenges the reader..."We are confronted, inescapably, with the intoxicating possibility that we can make language do for us almost anything we want." In other words, the author "thinks outside the box" long before it became fashionable to do so. I'll never forget a groundbreaking banner front-page headline in the New York Daily News back in the 1970's, it read, "We Wuz Robbed!" The headline reported that masked gunmen broke into the payroll office and stole millions in typical New York City lingo. Apparently the editors in the Daily News Building agreed with Quinn's approach to effective writing that "style, is like a frog: you can dissect the thing, but it somehow dies in the process."
Each chapter in this marvelous book is short and compact. My favorite chapters include, Missing Links and Headless Horsemen, Man Bites Dog and Reds in the Red. In a nutshell, Quinn demands that we navigate the jungles of style creatively and includes many figures of speech through out his book to stimulate the learning process. Overall, this book is a joy to read. In the words of the author, "language becomes a prison house only poets can escape...if we do not reject any strict distinctions between ordinary usage and figures of speech."
Bert Ruiz
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Format: Paperback
If I were to design high school cirrculums, rhetoric and logic would be a required subject, perhaps titled (un)creatively as "Survival skills for the Real World or How Not to Be Duped"
Quinn's book Figures of Speech would be one quite satisfactory text. The strength of the book is in its examples, the variety of sources. For example, asyndeton in a series of nouns is illustrated by quotes from the scripture, Shakespeare, Spinoza, Arnold, Darwin, Proust ... He illustrates asyndeton in series of clauses; in series of nouns; at the beginning, middle or end of a sentence. He warns of the effect of overusing the figure ... in short, without ever become boring, he shows you how to flush out a hiding asyndeton anywhere.
For those of you not educated under my ideal plan - asyndeton is the omission of conjunctions. Okay, this particular figure of speech may not effect your gullibility but I happened to like the examples given.
This book is only introductory but as such it is excellent. It is sufficiently slender and diverse to provide basic information without intimidating the reader with the plethora of classical rhetorical devices.
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Format: Paperback
"Figures of Speech" sets itself apart from other guides to rhetorical devices by its use of quotations to illustrate the terms it defines. Citing the Bible, Shakespeare, and many other authors, Quinn shows the power, purpose and effect of each device.
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