Available in eBraille only.
A Curmudgeon's Compendium of Excruciatingly Correct Grammar
This comprehensive dictionary of common misusages lays bare the mistakes we all make every day. Robert Hartwell Fiske, the grumbling grammarian of our time, shows you the definitive right way and wrong way to use language -- and illustrates why dictionaries don't always provide the correct meaning or usage of a word.
The words are listed alphabetically, so it's easy to look up your favorite pet peeve, and handy when you want to settle an argument! Fiske lists the word, describes briefly how it's misused, offers examples of this misuse, and sometimes provides real quotes -- from people who should know better -- to illustrate the improper use of the word. It's all very informative and very entertaining!
Eliminate laxity in language today by learning from this witty and engaging reference that not only provides you with correct usages, but also explains the worst malapropian sins of public figures and major publications.
However curmudgeonly, Mr. Fiske betrays a bluff humanitarian spirit. The Dictionary of Disagreeable English is a lovely, sour, virtuous book.
- The Wall Street Journal
Precision of language: what a wonderful idea! Robert Hartwell Fisk definitely warrants his (self-described?) label of curmudgeon; and I say that with great admiration. If you have a long list of grammatical pet peeves, his Dictionary of Disagreeable English will furnish you with an entertaining source for putting people right. If you couldn't care less about precise English, don't bother. But if you appreciate the appropriateness of "couldn't" as opposed to the ghastly "could care less" that has become so common today, then buy this book in quantity and give it to all of your friends!
- An Amazon.com Reviewer
Here's an example of an entry in this book:
Enervate: Solecistic for energize (or similar words).
* Even the hurricanes, the torrential downpours, skies solid black with furious clouds, could do nothing but enervate and invigorate me. USE energize.
* Fashion is photography's Frankenstein monster; a hideous parody of the photographic art rudely constructed with bits and pieces discarded from other art forms, which seeks not to elevate, illuminate, invigorate, enervate or inspire but exists only to serve its own purpose: to sell a rather ordinary garment at a grossly inflated price. USE energize.
* Mitchell plays his curmudgeonly role with a vitality and energy that seems to enervate the rest of the cast. USE invigorate.
* Any disease process anywhere in the body is affected, at least in part, by the ability of the nervous system to enervate and enliven that area. USE invigorate.
Enervate -- never innervate -- is an antonym, not a synonym, for invigorate or energize. Enervate means to weaken or enfeeble, to debilitate or deplete the energy of.
"That aspect of it in particular is not to my taste, although on the whole, I believe it's been a very successful and enervating and exciting convention."
- Ben Affleck, actor
Not only did Affleck embarrass himself by saying enervating when he meant invigorating, or perhaps, energizing, he, embarrassing himself further, chided one or two people he was talking to when they questioned his use of the word. It's all too dreadfully enervating.