Sunday, 12 April 2015

Writer's Resource: The Dimwit's Dictionary by Robert Hartwell Fiske

Today's post is brought to you by Wendy H. Jones

As writers we are always trying to hone, and improve, our craft. There are many books on writing out there and I have several. This one I have found to be particularly useful.

The Tagline for the book is More than 5000 overused words and phrases and alternatives to them. This, in a nutshell, is what the book does. But please do not be fooled into thinking this book is simple or would not be useful. It is a pure nugget amongst many books for writers.

The book is divided into two parts:

Part 1 - gives examples of the hackneyed phrases which have slipped into everyday English. It then goes on to explain why these are tired and outdated. It then goes on to talk about the different forms of English - uneducated, everyday and elegant - and how these can be improved.

Part 2 - The bulk of the book is given over to this. This is where the 5000 words and phrases come in. These are provided in alphabetical order for easy reference. It is a simple matter to look up a phrase and the suggestions for words which could replace it. I am going to open up the book at random and give an example:

Feeling his oats - This is classed as a moribund metaphor. Suggested replacements - exuberant, frisky, lively peppy, vigorous, vivacious

The appendix at the end gives the top 20 Dimwiticism's (overused phrases) in the presses of the world. This is a real eye opener (that's not classed as a dimwiticism in the book) and is also a bit of fun.

So all in all an excellent resource for any writer, and one which I would highly recommend.

Buy the Dimwit's Dictionary from Amazon

About the author

Wendy H. Jones lives in, Scotland, and her police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie, is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland. The first book in the series, Killer's Countdown was released in November 2014. The next book will be released in July 2015.

Buy Killer's Countdown from

Amazon UK
Amazon USA

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