Paul’s Books

Paul Yeager’s books, Literally, the Best Language Book Ever: Annoying Words and Abused Phrases You Should Never Use Again, and Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and  Oddities, were published by Perigee Books (now Penguin Random House).

Chapter-by-Chapter Outline of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever:

1. Wrong Answer: Please Try Again (grammar errors)

2. Play it Again, Sam (errors of redundancy and repetition)

3. Verbification (nouns being incorrectly used as verbs)

4. Abused and Misused (contrived words and words used incorrectly)

5. That Makes No Sense, Captain Kirk (illogical words and phrases)

6. It’s All Bad…Believe Me (excessively trendy words and expressions)

7. What a Way to Make a Living (ineffective workplace words and expressions)

8. You Thought You Were Clever, But… (phrases that may have been witty the first time they were used)

9. That’s Not What I Meant (inarticulate language)

10. Insincerity is the Highest Form of Flattery (insincere or dismissive phrases)

11. Older Than Dirt (common cliches and irrelevant phrases)

12. Stop Playing Games (ineffective sports terminology)

13. Write Your Own Book (personal language pet peeves)

The book can be purchased in bookstores and on any number of websites, including and

Weather Whys also can be purchased in bookstores and at online retailers, such as and


11 Responses to Paul’s Books

  1. SAM says:

    Two things.

    First, consider getting the table of contents for your upcoming book posted on

    Second, the blog entries are quite good. Consider adding a feature that enables visitors to print a clean copy of each entry.

    Reply from Paul: Thanks for the suggestions, Sam. The publisher controls what is on the online book- selling sites. We’re still about six weeks away from the publication date, but I’m sure that Perigee will add content to the online book sellers soon. I can–and plan to–add more information about the book on our site.

    As for the second part of your comment (we were glad to see that you said “second” and not “secondly,” by the way), since we go through wordpress, I’m not sure of what we might be able to do to help with the printability–but I’ll send them an e-mail to see if there’s something we can do.

  2. Art Chic says:

    Paul I can’t wait to buy your book. I am a huge fan of your Accuweather blog. Will you be doing any book signings in Canada?

    Reply from Paul: Thanks for buying a book, and I’m glad that you enjoy the blog. I don’t anticipate any book signings in Canada, though. I did enjoy my interview with Peter Anthony Holder in Montreal, though.

  3. loninappleton says:

    Just heard the broadcast on WPR with Joy Cardine.

    For your archive, I can’t believe no one
    uttered or mentioned ‘that being said’
    which I can’t even parse as a part of speech. I put out frequent letters of complaint about the overuse and abuse of the word “basically” which was mentioned.

    The worst instance of this happened on a news interview where the speaker said that so and so was ‘basically acquitted.’ I liken that to being ‘basically pregnant’ and if I listen to radio long enough, I may hear that too.


    Reply from Paul: I’m glad that you found the archive of this morning’s show, and thanks for the pet peeve. Basically pregnant–funny!


  4. Betty Rose Nagle says:

    “that being said” is an example of the “nominative absolute” construction, “absolute” because it is grammatically unconnected to the main sentence. I’m not sure, but that construction may have originated as an imitation of a similar construction in Latin. In Latin this construction is one of the many features which make that language so condensed, in comparison to English. One can say “these things having been said” instead of a wordier clause of some kind, such as “Because these things had been said” or “Although these things had been said” or “After these things had been said.”


    Reply from Paul: Thanks Betty–that’s an interesting analysis.

  5. leftoverkumquats says:

    re your note:
    Well it wasn’t /my/ receipt. However, your book is on my “to raid Barnes and Noble with my limited funds for: ….. ” list.

    Reply from Paul: Nice save!!

  6. Bonnie says:

    I read your book and enjoyed it. I searched for “unqualified expert” on Google and found 1,520 results for “unqualified expert.” Scary.

    Reply from Paul: Thanks, Bonnie–glad that you enjoyed the book. I never thought to look for unqualified experts. That’s funny!

  7. Pingback: Post-vacanza « Taccuino di traduzione 2.0

  8. Pingback: Lightning & the Lightning Bug » Blog Archive » Literally the Best Writing Advice Ever

  9. David Silverman says:

    In ‘The Best Language Book Ever’ you mention “Go figure”. I identified this as a Jewish phrase per Leo Rosten’s book ‘The Joys Of Yinglish’.

    Reply from Paul: David, We’re glad that you made it to the site. “The Joys of Yinglish”–what a great title for a book! Thanks for sharing your information, and we’ll look for your next article in Voices.

  10. Mindy says:

    I’ve been reading the book and, for a guy who knows a lot of obscure facts regarding turns of phrase, you’ve really missed the mark on “whatever floats your boat.” Unless you were deliberately ignoring the purported sexual origins of the phrase, in which case, carry on.

    Reply from Paul: I actually did not know that, but now that you brought it to my attention, I’ll start deliberately ignoring it. 🙂 It’s not something I want to think about in daily conversation.

  11. Pingback: Hot as a Firecracker for the Fourth of July « Cloudy and Cool

Comments are closed.