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

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 522 pages
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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 grāce 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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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 (2006)

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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