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Clever Comebacks and Witty Retorts from History's Great Wits and Wordsmiths
Author: Dr. Mardy Grothe
Publisher: Harper Collins
For most of us, that perfect retort or witty reply often escapes us when we need it most, only to come to mind with perfect clarity when it's too late to be useful. The twentieth-century writer Heywood Broun described this all-too-common phenomenon when he wrote "Repartee is what we wish we'd said." In Viva la Repartee, Dr. Mardy Grothe, author of Oxymoronica, has lovingly assembled a collection of masterfully composed -- and perfectly timed -- replies that have turned the tables on opponents and adversaries. This delightful volume is a celebration of the most impressive retorts, ripostes, rejoinders, comebacks, quips, ad-libs, bon mots, off-the-cuff comments, wisecracks, and other clever remarks ever to come out of the mouths -- and from the pens -- of people throughout history. Touching on all areas of human endeavor, including politics, the arts, literature, sports, relationships, and even the risqué, the book features contributions from Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker, Mae West, Groucho Marx, Winston Churchill, Dolly Parton, and scores more. As entertaining as it is intellectually enriching, Viva la Repartee is sure to capture the attention of language lovers and is the perfect antidote for anyone who's ever thought I wish I'd said that!
Phrases, Expressions, and Proverbs and How We Use and Misuse Them
Author: Colin McNairn
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
What do “the whole kit and caboodle,” “the whole shebang,” “the whole megillah,” “the whole enchilada,” “the whole nine yards,” “the whole box and dice,” and “the full Monty” have in common? They’re all expressions that mean “the entire quantity,” and they’re all examples of the breadth and depth of the English-speaking world’s vocabulary. From the multitude of words and phrases in daily use, the author of this delightful exploration into what we say and why we say it zeroes in on those expressions and sayings and their variations that are funny, quirky, just plain folksy, or playfully dressed up in rhyme or alliteration. Some may have become clichés that, as it’s said with “tongue in cheek,” should be “avoided like the plague.” Others have been distorted, deemed politically incorrect, or shrouded in mystery and must bear some explanation. Among the topics the author delves into are expressions that shouldn’t be taken literally (“dressed to kill” and “kick the bucket”), foreign expressions that crept into English (“carte blanche,” “carpe diem,” and “que sera, sera”), phrases borrowed from print ads and TV commercials (“where there’s life, there’s Bud” and “where the rubber meets the road”), animal images (“a barrel of monkeys” and “chasing your tail”), and food and drink (“cast your bread upon the water,” “chew the fat,” “bottom’s up!”, and “drink as a lord”). Here’s a book for everyone who delights in the mysteries of language and the perfect gift for all the “wordies” in your life.