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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Magic words are catchphrases that encapsulate some timeless truth or way of handling a situation. Because they are short and pithy, you can call them up at a moment's notice and under duress. Many are funny wordplays, such as "I've decided not to decide" and "Let's quit while we're behind." Others remind you of something you already know, such as "Let it go" and "It's not the cure for cancer."
Coauthors and longtime friends Howard Kaminsky and Alexandra Penny had been sharing magic words with each other for years when they realized that they had plenty for a book. They divided the words into three types: ones to say to yourself, ones to say to other people, and universal words. Each phrase is illustrated by a short vignette that shows the magic words in action. The ones to say to yourself help you cool down or heat up, depending on what's happening. For example, "thimble time" reminds you to shield yourself from those little constant pinpricks, while "Sitting on the fence is fine for my cat" is a call to action. The words to say to others are for use on bores, abusive bosses, snoops, and others. Tell the worrywart in your life, "This stress belongs to you." When voices are raised, say, "Are you actually yelling at me?" The universal words are mantras for a whole attitude toward life. For example, "Handle with flair" applies at all times and in all places.
An enlightening, as well as fun, read, Magic Words will put the hurdles in your life into perspective and give you the verbal means to clear them. (Laura Wood)
Laura Wood is the Barnes & Noble.com reference editor.