The Big Book Of Beastly Pronunciations

( 1 )

Overview


The definitive pronouncement on more than 1,500 of our most commonly mispronounced words.

From the language maven Charles Harrington Elster comes an authoritative and unapologetically opinionated look at American speech. As Elster points out, there is no sewer in connoisseur, no dip in diphthong, and no pronoun in pronunciation. The culmination of twenty years of observation and study, The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations is more than just a pronunciation guide. Elster ...

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Overview


The definitive pronouncement on more than 1,500 of our most commonly mispronounced words.

From the language maven Charles Harrington Elster comes an authoritative and unapologetically opinionated look at American speech. As Elster points out, there is no sewer in connoisseur, no dip in diphthong, and no pronoun in pronunciation. The culmination of twenty years of observation and study, The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations is more than just a pronunciation guide. Elster discusses past and present usage, alternatives, analogies, and tendencies and offers plenty of advice, none of it objective. Whether you are adamant or ambivalent about the spoken word, Elster arms you with the information you need to decide what is acceptable for you.

The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations has now been expanded and revised and features nearly 200 new words, including:

al-Qaeda bruschetta commensurate coup de grâce curriculum vita exacerbate gigabyte hara-kiri machismo Muslim Niger Pinochet Pulitzer sorbet tinnitus w (as in www-dot)

and many, many more.

Charles Harrington Elster is the pronunciation editor of Black’s Law Dictionary and the author of various books about language, including Verbal Advantage, There’s a Word for It, and What in the Word? He has been a guest columnist on language for the Boston Globe and the New York Times Magazine and a commentator on NPR and hundreds of radio shows around the country.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Any dictionary will tell you how to pronounce a word, but this one delves deeper: it discusses mispronunciations, preferred pronunciations, historical precedents, trends, and much more. Elster is the pronunciation editor for Black's Law Dictionary and the author of many books, including Verbal Advantage and What in the Word? He is also a newspaper columnist and radio commentator on pronunciation, all of which makes him a true authority on the subject. Originally published in 1999, this work has not only been updated but also expanded by about 200 new entries. There are over 1000 alphabetically arranged entries, some stretching from one to six pages (e.g., "bulimia," "consortium," "kilometer," "Missouri," "Moscow," "schizophrenia"), others not going beyond a few lines (e.g., "business," "knoll," "mercury," "potpourri"). The entries are written as entertaining anecdotes about each word's (mis)pronunciation history. Elster is particularly skilled at settling arguments when it comes to pronunciation discrepancies among major dictionaries. Bottom Line This unique works offers lively reading from an expert. Highly recommended for reference libraries.-Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Community Coll., Garden City, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618423156
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 2/22/2006
  • Edition description: Expanded and Up
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 625,665
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Meet the Author


Charles Harrington Elster is a guest contributor to the New York Times Magazine's "On Language" column and has been a commentator on NPR and hundreds of radio shows around the country. He is the author of numerous books, including There Is No Zoo in Zoology and Is There a Cow in Moscow?
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