The Elements Of Eloquence

Elements Eloquence Mark ForsythIf you’re into writing or reading in any way (and you probably are, if you’re reading this), then The Elements Of Eloquence – How To Turn The Perfect English Phrase by Mark Forsyth is a must have book.

I was lucky enough to get this as an xmas present a couple of years ago and once I’d started reading it I couldn’t put it down. I now always keep it around and dip into it every now and again (along with some other books I’ll tell you about in another post).

It’s definitely one of those books that’s a lot more fun as a physical version as a digital version as once you start flipping through the pages you’l want to share it with someone else.

For instance, do you know what Anadiplosis is? Here’s an example:

If the soup had been as warm as the wine, and the wine as old as the fish, and the fish as young as the maid, and the maid as willing as the hostess, it would have been a very good meal. – Anon

And here’s an example of Polyptoton:

Please please me – John Lennon

Do you know what Epizeuxis is? Probably not. What about Scesis Onomaton? Didn’t think so.

If you buy this book your confusion between Alliteration and Paroemion will be long gone, gone, gone. (But that’s also Epizeuxis)

Here’s another quick pic taken from the book itself (a bit naughty I know, but hopefully it’ll encourage you to buy the thing). It talks about Transferred Epithets; a good one is ‘disabled toilet’:

transferred epithets

You can buy the book from Amazon here.

Written by Julian Moore