Synopses & Reviews
How do you pronounce affluent: AF-loo-int or uh-FLOO-int? Does it make a difference? Charles Harrington Elster believes that yes, it does make a difference (and that, for the record, one should pronounce the word AF-loo-int). Elster, the author of Is There a Cow in Moscow? and There Is No Zoo in Zoology, has chosen more than six hundred of our most commonly mispronounced words, arranged them alphabetically, and written entertaining essays that unapologetically offer his informed opinion as to why a word should be pronounced a particular way. Where pronunciations commonly vary or dictionaries disagree, Elster is an eager arbiter. Easy to use (there aren't any confusing diacritical marks), and with references from Will Shakespeare to Will Smith (for "aunt") and Jerry Seinfeld (for "clitoris"), this is an excellent argument-settler - and debate-starter. A Houghton Mifflin Paperback original.
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 Blacks Law Dictionary and the author of various books about language, including Verbal Advantage, Theres 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.
About 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?