The unmatched guide—and perfect gift—for stymied scribes and working wordsmiths everywhere, now expanded and updated. A singular and indispensable reference tool, The Describer's Dictionary—now expanded and updated—has served for over twenty years as the go-to resource for writers who are determined to capture the world in just the right words. The dictionary uses a unique reverse definition-to-term format that makes it easy to zero in on the term you're seeking. Turn to the new section on sensory impressions, for example, to find vivid terms for "loud or jarring," such as "grating," "harsh," "piercing," "blaring," "thunderous," "cacophonous," and "raucous." And at the end of each section dozens of illustrative passages by notable fiction and nonfiction authors—including Donna Tartt, Michael Lewis, Zadie Smith, Khaled Hosseini, and Paul Theroux—bring the terminology to life. New in this edition: • Hundreds of additional definitions, terms, and synonyms • Brand-new categories, including "Physical States and Symptoms," "Temperament and Behavior," "Rooms and Interior Spaces," "Weather and Forces of Nature," and "The Solar System" • Over 400 new quotations from books, periodicals, and digital media by established and rising literary stars • An index of the more than 600 authors quoted in the book
Who was Richard Kemp, after whom the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle is named? Is Wake’s Gecko named after Berkeley’s Marvalee Wake? Or perhaps her husband, David? Why do so many snakes and lizards have Werner in their name? This reference book answers these and thousands of other questions about the origins of the vernacular and scientific names of reptiles across the globe. From Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti, the Florida cottonmouth subspecies named for Roger Conant, to Xantusia, the night lizard genera namesake of John Xantus, this dictionary covers everyone after whom an extant or recently extinct reptile has been named. The entries include a brief bio-sketch, a list of the reptiles that bear the individual’s name, the names of reptiles erroneously thought to be associated with the person, and a summary of major—and sometimes obscure or even incidental—contributions made by the person to herpetology and zoology. An introductory chapter explains how to use the book and describes the process of naming taxa. Easy to use and filled with addictive—and highly useful—information about the people whose names will be carried into the future on the backs of the world’s reptiles, The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles is a handy and fun book for professional and amateur herpetologists alike.
More than ever in this completely updated edition, The Elements of Expression helps word users "light up the cosmos or the written page or the face across the table" as they seek the radiance of expressiveness—the vivid expression of thoughts, feelings, and observations. Nothing kills radiance like the murky, generic language dominating today's talk, airwaves, and posts. It tugs at our every sentence, but using it to express anything beyond the ordinary is like flapping the tongue to escape gravity. The Elements of Expression offers an adventurous and inspiring flight into words that truly share what's percolating in our minds. Here writers, presenters, students, bloggers—even well intentioned "Mad Men"—will discover language to convey precise feelings, move audiences, delight and persuade. No snob or scold, the acclaimed word-maven Arthur Plotnik explores the full range of expressiveness, from playful "tough talk" to finely wrought literature, with hundreds of rousing examples. Confessing that we are all "like a squid in its ink" when first groping for luminous expression, he shines his amiable wit on the elements leading, ultimately, to language of "fissionable intensity."
Birdwatchers often come across bird names that include a person's name, either in the vernacular (English) name or latinised in the scientific nomenclature. Such names are properly called eponyms, and few people will not have been curious as to who some of these people were (or are). Names such as Darwin, Wallace, Audubon, Gould and (Gilbert) White are well known to most people. Keener birders will have yearned to see Pallas's Warbler, Hume's Owl, Swainson's Thrush, Steller's Eider or Brünnich's Guillemot. But few people today will have even heard of Albertina's Myna, Barraband's Parrot, Guerin's Helmetcrest or Savigny's Eagle Owl. This extraordinary new work lists more than 4,000 eponymous names covering 10,000 genera, species and subspecies of birds. Every taxon with an eponymous vernacular or scientific name (whether in current usage or not) is listed, followed by a concise biography of the person concerned. These entries vary in length from a few lines to several paragraphs, depending on the availability of information or the importance of the individual's legacy. The text is punctuated with intriguing or little-known facts, unearthed in the course of the authors' extensive research. Ornithologists will find this an invaluable reference, especially to sort out birds named after people with identical surnames or in situations where only a person's forenames are used. But all birders will find much of interest in this fascinating volume, a book to dip into time and time again whenever their curiosity is aroused.
Write for buyers. Write for bosses. Think hyper. Think branding. Tell your visitor where to go. Poetry and ‘plain language’ collide in the writing machine that is Human Resources. Here at the intersection of creation and repackaging, we experience the visceral and psychic cost of selling things with depleted words. Pilfered rhetorics fed into the machine are spit out as bungled associations among money, shit, culture, work and communication. With the help of online engines that numericize language, Human Resources explores writing as a process of encryption. Deeply inflected by the polyvocality and encoded rhetorics of the screen, Human Resources is perched at the limits of language, irreverently making and breaking meaning. Navigating the crumbling boundaries among page, screen, reader, engine, writer and database, Human Resources investigates wasting words and words as waste – and the creative potential of salvage.
"Like animals, plants and book reviewers, words can become extinct, but Grambs is here to salvage the most missed of the lexical dinosaurs."—Patricia Holt, San Francisco Chronicle We often hear about the richness of the English language, how many more words it contains than French or German. And yet modern desk dictionaries are the result of a paring away of that glory, so that merely standard, functional, current words remain. The price we pay for such convenience is the thousands of delightful words we never see or hear. This book is an effort to save some of those words applicable to everyday life and countless word games from extinction. The resultant treasure trove of exotic verbal creatures is an indispensable resource for every lover of language. A selection: egrutten: having a face swollen from weeping numquid: an inquisitive person sardoodledum: drama that is contrived, stagy, or unrealistic mimp: to purse one's lips
This fascinating reference book delves into the origins of the vernacular and scientific names of sharks, rays, skates and chimeras. Each entry offers a concise biography, revealing the hidden stories and facts behind each species’ name. Full of interesting facts and humorous titbits, the authors’ extensive research and detective work has made this book a comprehensive source of knowledge on everyone associated with the naming of a species. A fascinating resource for anyone with an interest in sharks, from curious naturalist to professional ichthyologist, it is an essential addition to the library of anyone wishing to satisfy those tickling questions on the mysteries behind the names. Sometimes a name refers not to a person but to a fictional character or mythological figure. Eptatretus eos is named after the Greek goddess of the dawn in reference to the pink colouring of the hagfish. The Chilean Roundray Urotrygon cimar, named after Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología in honour of its 20th anniversary, and the Angular Angelshark Squatina Guggenheim, named after the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, are both named after institutions. The Whiteleg Skate Amblyraja taaf is just a shorthand way of describing a toponym – Territoire des Terres australes et antarctiques françaises. There are also entries which are light-hearted such as the one for a lady who told us "that decoration of her cakes have included roughtail skate Bathyraja trachura, red abalone Haliotis rufescens, and chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha." Following the success of their previous Eponym Dictionaries, the authors have joined forces to give the Elasmobranch group of fishes a similar treatment but they have also included the describers and authors of the original descriptions of the fishes involved, in addition to those names that are, or appear to be, eponyms. They have tracked down some 850 names of living as well as dead people. Of these half are eponyms after people who have fish named after them and may also have described a fish or fishes. The other half are ichthyologists, marine biologists and other scientists who have become involved in the description and naming of sharks, rays, skates and chimeras. For each person mentioned there is brief, pithy biography. Additionally there are some 50 entries for what sound like eponyms but turned out not to have any connection to a person, such as the Alexandrine Torpedo is named after the city in Egypt and not Alexander the Great. In some cases these are a reminder of the courage of scientists whose dedicated research in remote locations exposed them to disease and even violent death. The eponym ensures that their memory will survive, aided by reference works such as this highly readable dictionary. Altogether 1,577 fishes are listed.