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The Three Superior Person's Books of Words [Illustrated]
by Peter Bowler
ISBN 1567921590 / 9781567921595 / 1-56792-159-0
Publisher David R Godine
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This special collection gathers into one affordable, attractive package all three of the invaluable volumes that comprise Mr. Bowler's timeless trilogy. The author's purpose in compiling these small, elegant, and edifying works is to give readers "a more finely tuned engine of the language they speak, so they may more readily assert their linguistic superiority over their fellow travelers at the traffic stops of life."
The Superior Person's Books of Words offers a panoply of 1,800 arcane but totally plausible words that neither you nor your loved ones has ever heard, plus textual advice on how to use them to confound your friends, irritate your enemies, and impress your superiors. There's yet more: anecdotes of eccentric scholars, the unbelievable and irrevocable mistakes of the rich and famous, examples of idiotic concepts, and further oddities and curiosities of the so-called intellectual life.
From The Superior Person's Book of Words:
Thelyphthoric: n. That which corrupts women. The author's sources do not, unfortunately, identify the object so described; if any reader has one, perhaps he would be kind enough to send it to the author, enclosed in a plain brown wrapper.
From The Superior Person's Second Book of Weird and Wondrous Words:
Catachresis: n. Misapplication of a word. In using the lore and learning contained in this book, you will undoubtedly be found guilty of this. In your defense, you can at least say (a) that you are aware of your lapse, and (b) that you know what it is called.
From The Superior Person's Third Book of Well-Bred Words:
Ustion: n. The act of setting fire to something, or the state of being set fire to. From the Latin ustus, past participle of urere, to burn. Pronounced "usch'n." Always to be preferred to its longer synonym, combustion. [via]