Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Download your way to word power

A recent trip to Project Gutenberg uncovered a 1919 book entitled "Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases: A Practical Handbook Of Pertinent Expressions, Striking Similes, Literary, Commercial, Conversational, And Oratorical Terms, For The Embellishment Of Speech And Literature, And The Improvement Of The Vocabulary Of Those Persons Who Read, Write, And Speak English."

I was tempted to keep this a secret, because if I didn't, I'd be able to fill the blog with lightning phrases, as if shot from the quiver of infallible wisdom, and you wouldn't know the difference. But now, whenever you see such a phrase, you'll be able to look to the source to determine if it was the product of a cunning intellect patiently diverting every circumstance to its design, or whether I made it up.

I especially recommend the "Public Speaking Phrases." If you're ever writing historical fiction about a turn-of-the-century politician, make sure to use many of these phrases; if you're writing any of your own essays or speeches, it's a great example of what not to do.

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