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The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase
 
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The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase [Format Kindle]

Mark Forsyth

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

In an age unhealthily obsessed with substance, this is a book on the importance of pure style, from the bestselling author of The Etymologicon and The Horologicon.


From classic poetry to pop lyrics and from the King James Bible to advertising slogans, Mark Forsyth explains the secrets that make a phrase - such as ‘Tiger, Tiger, burning bright’, or ‘To be or not to be’ - memorable.


In his inimitably entertaining and witty style he takes apart famous lines and shows how you too can write like Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde. Whether you’re aiming for literary immortality or just an unforgettable one-liner, The Elements of Eloquence proves that you don't need to have anything to say - you simply need to say it well.


'Sparkling ... the book offers many pleasures ... I laughed out loud at the examples chosen' Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph


Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2202 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 224 pages
  • Editeur : Icon Books Ltd (7 novembre 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00KFEJN3Q
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°28.912 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires en ligne

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  32 commentaires
16 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 But Me No Buts: A Worthy Read 29 novembre 2013
Par JB - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Using a format rather like that of a cheery chat over a pint, Mark Forsyth attempts to remove the fear factor from that most alarming of subjects, English grammar. More specifically here though, we're concerned with rhetoric, or how great phrases are minted and why they work.

Citing The Beatles, Churchill and (mostly) Shakespeare, Forsyth is always illuminating and often amusing. Yes, he's fond of the sweeping statement, and as he builds up a head of steam the occasional error creeps in (it's doubtful whether Shakespeare would have been too happy with 'Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow /Creeps into this petty place'), but possibly all's forgivable in the context of this casual and non-threatening approach.

A turn-by-turn run through figures of rhetoric, Forsyth beckons one on with the promise that memorable phrases are within one's own reach...let's deconstruct a Shakespeare speech and so detect the tricks which make it work; then you can do it too!

A fun, readable and convivial little tome.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Entertaining review of a not so dry subject after all 7 décembre 2013
Par Phipedro - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This is Forsyth's third book - and it seems to be back to the level of his first. It is beautifully pitched, using examples of the rhetorical devices being discussed - both from past writers and buried in Forsyth's own text - as illustrations. And it's funny. And he does still have that annoying ability to link his chapters so that you just have to read the next one...
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Elements of Eloquence 9 décembre 2013
Par Erin Britton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
The Elements of Eloquence is Mark Forsyth’s delightful ode to linguistic style over substance. Using classic works (such as Blake’s Tiger, Tiger) and the techniques of literary heavyweights (such as Shakespeare and Chaucer) to illustrate how phrases can be rendered instantly memorable and pleasing to the ear, Forsyth explains how following a few simple (and some decidedly complicated) rules can help you write with the style and panache calculated to appeal to readers. With The Elements of Eloquence Mark Forsyth manages to inform and entertain; he’s clearly incredibly knowledgeable on literary matters but he also have a very pleasing and amusing writing style all of his own.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Spectator Review 15 décembre 2013
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
From: [...]

In the reminiscences of Bertie Wooster we find this:

As I sat in the bathtub, soaping a meditative foot and singing, if I remember correctly, ‘Pale Hands I Loved Beside the Shalimar’, it would be deceiving my public to say that I was feeling boomps-a-daisy.

The sentence is quoted for its use of ‘meditative foot’, in the Winter 1973 issue of the learned journal Linguistic Inquiry, by Robert A. Hall in his ‘Transferred Epithet in P. G. Wodehouse’, now as well-thumbed as any article can be that is perused principally online. Stephen Fry is always citing it. Mark Forsyth, however, quotes the sentence as an example of litotes — affirming something by denying its opposite. Orwell was wary of that figure of speech, advising writers tempted by it to think of the sentence, ‘A not unblack dog was chasing a not unsmall rabbit across a not ungreen field.’ Economically, Forsyth also points out that in Bertie Wooster’s remark ‘Pale Hands’ is an example of synecdoche.

To find three rhetorical figures of speech in one sentence by Wodehouse fits our knowledge of him as a rather artificial writer. Nowadays that sounds like a pejorative categorisation, but it was not always so. In the times of Sir Thomas Browne (whom Forsyth, somewhat hyperbolically, calls ‘the first English prose writer’), to be ingenious and artificial was the bee’s knees for a writer. But for the past couple of centuries, the author explains, the intentional practice of rhetorical figures has been eschewed, partly because of the Romantic fallacy that ‘you could learn everything worth learning by gazing at a babbling mountain brook’.

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The boast on the cover is, ‘How to turn the perfect English phrase’, and Forsyth admits that his book ‘is about one tiny, tiny aspect of rhetoric: the figures of speech’. Being able, like Peter Simple’s fantasy ‘apodosis turner in the conditional clause shed’, to produce a smooth example of epizeuxis or epistrophe will not, to be sure, make you Shakespeare (about whose use of figures we hear much to our advantage in this short book). But Forsyth’s chief and admirable ambition is to demolish ‘the bleak and imbecile idea that the aim of writing is to express yourself clearly in plain, simple English using as few words as possible’.

It is good news that the popular author of The Etymologicon (the ‘threepenny bit in the plum pudding’ of Christmas publishing in 2011) should now potter round the rhetorical warehouse at our elbow, commenting on the choicer goods on view, for he is well-informed and amusing. The shiniest piece of information I picked up is that, in English, adjectives go in this order:

Opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose-noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.

This knowledge is implicitly mastered by all native speakers; to see it made explicit is an enjoyable revelation, like learning to carry a tray on the flat of your hand.

Forsyth concedes that zeugma is seldom useful, isocolon can sound silly and syllepsis show-offy, and he struggles to find good examples in English of enallage. Even the name sounds to me like either an allergy or analogy, so that to refer to it in speech is likely to meet the response: ‘What?’ It means a deliberate use of a grammatical error.

Is there a word for deliberate misquotation? Perhaps the examples here are not deliberate, but Wordsworth did not write ‘A host of dancing daffodils’. The Three Musketeers’ motto was not, ‘One for all and all for one’ (the name of a recent dubstep number by Razihel and Virtual Riot), but, ‘All for one, one for all’ (Tous pour un, un pour tous), though it does remain an example of chiasmus. Nor did Blake write, ‘And was the countenance divine / On England’s pleasant pastures seen?’ And who told Mark Forsyth that an ell was an old measure of 1.1 miles?

I hope the publishers, having let those through, will mend them in the many future printings the book deserves.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 What we didn't learn at school 9 janvier 2014
Par Rod Gates - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Mark Forsyth's breath taking erudition will delight anyone who thinks of themselves as a wordsmith. You read him and think that you knew that but you also know sneakily that you didn't quite know it, and certainly didn't know the big words he teaches you to sound oh so, so, clever. It is deep and it is light hearted and very, very, witty. I wanted to give him five stars for intelligent entertainment and the only reason I held back was that the author's prose at time became the intellectual mirror of himself showing off. Not for everyone. But for those who love language, a joy to read.
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