101 Foolish Phrases by Robert Hartwell Fiske
This is a Vocabula Book. 101 Foolish Phrases A Vocabula 101 Series Handbook
Vocabula 101 Series Handbooks are slim volumes replete with sound advice on how to use the English language well.
This handy reference includes some of the most foolish phrases we speak and write. Incisive, sometimes acerbic, commentary accompanies each entry.
101 Foolish Phrases encourages you to speak and write more carefully and thoughtfully.
Think critically: read a Vocabula Book.
From the Introduction:
Whereas a witticism is a clever remark or phrase indeed, the height of expression a "dimwitticism" is the converse; it is a commonplace remark or phrase. Dimwitticisms are worn-out words and phrases; they are expressions that dull our reason and dim our insight, formulas that we rely on when we are too lazy to express what we think or even to discover how we feel. The more we use them, the more we conform in thought and feeling to everyone else who uses them.
Dimwitticisms give rise to ineloquence, and it is precisely this that marks so much of our speech and writing. Whatever the occasion, whether celebratory or funereal, quotidian or uncommon, people speak and write the same dimwitted words and phrases. No wonder so many of us feel barren or inconsolable: there are few words that inspire us, few words that move us, few words that thrill or overwhelm us. Persuasion has lost much of its sway, conviction, much of its claim.
People who rely on dimwitticisms like these appear to express themselves more fluently and articulately than those few who do not. But this is a sham articulateness, for without the use of these foolish phrases, most people would stammer helplessly.
Dimwitticisms are ubiquitous, and we cannot easily escape them. Perhaps none of us can express a thought without them. We learn them unknowingly; insidiously do they become part of our wording unless we recognize what they are and withstand their onslaught. Genuine articulateness is writing and speech that scarcely makes use of dimwitticisms, and it is achieved only with much effort.
Certainly, it is the least effective speakers and writers who use the most dimwitticisms. A person’s ability to express himself well compellingly, persuasively is inversely proportional to the number of dimwitticisms he uses.
A person who expresses himself with genuineness instead of in jargon, with feeling instead of in formulas is capable as few have been, as few are, and as few will be; this is a person to heed.
About the Author: Robert Hartwell Fiske
A Vocabula 101 Series HandbookTM
5" by 7" trim
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