The Elements of Expression: Putting Thoughts Into Words
More than ever in this completely updated edition, The Elements of Expression helps word users "light up the cosmos or the written page or the face across the table" as they seek the radiance of expressiveness--the vivid expression of thoughts, feelings, and observations.
Nothing kills radiance like the murky, generic language dominating today's talk, airwaves, and posts. It tugs at our every sentence, but using it to express anything beyond the ordinary is like flapping the tongue to escape gravity. The Elements of Expression offers an adventurous and inspiring flight into words that truly share what's percolating in our minds. Here writers, presenters, students, bloggers--even well intentioned "Mad Men"--will discover language to convey precise feelings, move audiences, delight and persuade.
No snob or scold, the acclaimed word-maven Arthur Plotnik explores the full range of expressiveness, from playful "tough talk" to finely wrought literature, with hundreds of rousing examples. Confessing that we are all "like a squid in its ink" when first groping for luminous expression, he shines his amiable wit on the elements leading, ultimately, to language of "fissionable intensity."
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advice ain’t American Annie Proulx Anthony Burgess Arthur Plotnik articulate audience Bill Bryson borrowed called Chicago choice classical clichés comedy communications culture Dictionary E. B. White edition Elements of Expression emotions engaging example expres f*ck face feel figures of speech force fresh funny gestures grammar Guide H. L. Mencken intensity inventive John Edgar Wideman John Updike language linguistic listeners literary Longinus Maledicta Martin Amis means metaphor models neologisms Nicholas Pileggi novel one’s Oxford paradigms patterns pause people’s phrases precision prose quotations quotes Random House readers rhetoric Roget’s Sandra Cisneros sh*t sion slang someone sound sources speakers speaking spoken Standard English statements Steven Pinker stimulating story stupid style tell thesaurus things thoughts tion tive today’s tough talk usage V. S. Naipaul verb vocabulary voice Webster’s what’s words writing York Zadie Smith