The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations: The Complete Opinionated Guide for the Careful Speaker

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 426 pages
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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.

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User Review  - louparris - LibraryThing

This one sits in our breakfast room to settle debates, etc. As we are from Texas some of our pronunciations follow local practice and thus disagree with his choices. Read full review

The big book of beastly mispronunciations: the complete opinionated guide for the careful speaker

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

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 ... Read full review


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About the author (1999)

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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