1000 Words to Expand Your Vocabulary
The more words we have at our command, the more accurately and concisely we can communicate in speaking or writing. To help us on our way, Joseph Piercy presents his personal choice of 1,000 interesting, frequently misused or simply beautiful words from the ‘linguistic maelstrom’ of the English language. He presents them as an A–Z, from Aberrant to Zephyr, with definitions, derivations, commentary on their precise meanings and an example of usage.
The 25 Rules of Grammar
The Essential Guide to Good English
Grammar does matter, and Joseph Piercy argues cogently that understanding and using grammatical rules is not pedantic, but essential if we want to make ourselves understood. Presented with a very light touch, a scattering of anecdotes, and quotes from literature, his 25 rules and essential tools are lucidly explained with examples and summaries. The book ends with a quiz, a glossary and a selection of 'A Grammarian Walks into a Bar' jokes.
The Superior Person's Book of Words
Peter Bowler’s 'superior person' has command of words such as egregious, quotidian and uxorious, and 'we yield to him in debate, not because his arguments are more cogent, but because they are less intelligible'. This A–Z of 500 words could set the reader on the road to superiority. The definitions are accompanied by the all-important notes on usage, lest one lose lexical credibility.
The Queen's English
And How to Use It
Written by the President of the Queen's English Society, this practical, light-hearted guide covers the basics of grammar, punctuation and spelling, as well as style, rhetoric, vocabulary and the use of foreign phrases. The author also considers the psychology of the reader, the evolution of language, spoken English and the perils of using words incorrectly.
The Right Word
Making Sense of the Words That Confuse
Homophones – words that sound the same but have different spellings and different meanings – can be a problem for both native English speakers and those learning the language. This clear, cross-referenced guide sets out homophones from a/A/eh to You’ll/Yule, with definitions for each word and examples of usage, plus a listing of words such as Flaunt and Flout that are often confused.
The Accidental Apostrophe
...and Other Misadventures in Punctuation
When it comes to punctuation, many experts leave it to the writer’s judgement – but what use is that if you’ve never been taught the difference between a colon and a semicolon, or where those pesky apostrophes go? This accessible, light-hearted guide clarifies the rules, shows how punctuation can help you get your meaning across clearly, and explains what you can get away with and what simply won’t do.
My Grammar and I Activity Book
(Or Should That be 'Me'?)
From identifying parts of speech to spotting the grammatical error in whole sentences (including ‘I think therefore I am’), Daniel Smith presents 103 ‘grammatical games’ to keep you in touch with the formal rules of the English language. Covering such thorny topics as compound nouns, reciprocal pronouns, the subjunctive, tautology and the dreaded apostrophe, the quizzes range from simple to very taxing, with answers at the end of the book.
National Birds of the World
From Angola's Red-Crested Turaco to Zimbabwe's African Fish-Eagle, more than 90 avian species have been adopted as official symbols of national identity. Each bird is pictured and described in this comprehensive guide, which features data such as size, diet and habitat alongside an explanation of reasons for the bird's use as a national emblem, information on its conservation status and examples of its prevalence in the stamps, coats of arms and wider culture of its country. Foreword by Chris Packham.
What's in a Name?
The scientific names identifying every species of bird are used around the world, though few know how they came about. Fully illustrated with colour photographs, this alphabetical guide traces hundreds of birds’ names to their habits, appearance, and even folklore. Accipiter – for hawks – is derived from the Latin ‘to take’; the crevice-roosting wren is called Troglodytes, or cave-dweller; while the nightjar is Caprimulgus because of an old belief that it sucked goats’ milk.
The Eponym Dictionary of Birds
Written by the authors of Whose Bird, but greatly expanded to list both scientific as well as vernacular birds’ names, the Dictionary has over 4,100 entries and covers more than 10,000 genera, species and subspecies. It provides brief details of the eponymous names – including steel magnates and princes along with the explorers, scientists and ornithologists – from Aagaard (the Buffy Fish Owl, ssp Ketupa ketupa aagaardi) to Zusi (Bogota Surnangel, Helioangelus zusii).