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The Elements of Eloquence How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase by Mark Forsyth

The Elements of Eloquence How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase

The Real World   
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From the bestselling wordmaster Mark Forsyth, an investigation into what makes a memorable phrase, what makes it stick in our minds and get quoted endlessly. He analyses what makes something like “To be or not to be” so successful, then shows how the humble reader can create their own immortal phrases and deathless prose.

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The Elements of Eloquence How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase by Mark Forsyth

Whether you want to achieve literary immortality or just persuade people of the genius of your thoughts, says Mark Forsyth, author of the bestselling The Etymologicon, you don't need to have anything to say - you simply need to say it well. And to say it well you just need to know the tricks of the trade, the simple formulas that have been in use from The Bible to The Beatles, from proverbs to number one singles. These are the timeless techniques of classical rhetoric that worked just as well for Tennyson as they do for Tarantino. Join Mark as he explains, in his inimitably lucid and entertaining way, why you remember lines like 'Bond. James Bond' and 'To be or not to be', how Katy Perry adapted Charles Dickens, and the intriguing complexity of Dirty Harry's rhetorical questions. In an age unhealthily obsessed with substance, this is a book on the importance of pure style.


'An informative but highly entertaining journey through the figures of rhetoric ... Mark Forsyth wears his considerable knowledge lightly. He also writes beautifully.'
David Marsh, Guardian

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

About the Author

Mark Forsyth

Mark Forsyth is a writer, journalist, proofreader, ghostwriter and pedant. He was given a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary as a christening present and has never looked back. In 2009 he started the Inky Fool blog, in order to share his heaps of use-less information with a verbose world. He is also the author of the Sunday Times Number One bestseller The Etymologicon, and its successful sister volume, The Horologicon, both published by Icon Books.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th November 2013


Mark Forsyth

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Icon Books Ltd


208 pages


The Real World

Language: history & general works



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