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Posts Tagged ‘literally the best language book ever’

The 20 Best Books for Language Lovers

Posted by languageandgrammar on September 30, 2011

Paul Yeager's books

Paul Yeager's books

I recently came across a blog that highlights the 20 best books for language lovers, and I was honored to see that my book (Literally, the Best Language Book Ever) made the list!

If you love language, there are many worthwhile books to consider reading, especially number 18!

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Words Worthy of Being Trashed

Posted by languageandgrammar on January 4, 2011

While I may have written a book on the topic (Literally, the Best Language Book Ever), it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who thinks that some words, phrases, and expressions deserve to be tossed into the nearest dumpster.

Lake Superior State University recently issued its list of banished words. The Web-word “Viral” topped this list (although its usage has now slipped into some mainstream conversations for some reason), with “epic” and “fail” as trash-worthy runners-up.

The university started their tradition in 1976–long before I was on the case. The redundant and wordy way of saying “now”, “at this point in time,” was the 1976 winner.

Read the entire article on yahoo news.

Oh, did I mention that I wrote a book on the topic? (Reminder–promotion doesn’t have to be subtle–ha!)

Literally the Best Language Book Ever

Literally, the Best Language Book Ever


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Interview: A New Definition, Thanks to Randy Moss

Posted by languageandgrammar on November 1, 2010

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

I love it when professional athletes talk. If it’s not a humorous mixture of mangled cliches and mixed metaphors, then it’s some outlandish, self-centered statement that only a media person trying to make a name for himself is interested in hearing.

Now, one  professional athlete, Randy Moss, has decided to redefine the word interview:

If it is going to be an interview, I am going to conduct it. So, I will answer my own questions and ask myself the questions and give you the answers. So from here on out, I am not answering any more questions the rest of this season.

Interview used to mean “a meeting or conversation in which a writer or reporter asks questions of one or more persons from whom material is sought for a newspaper story, television broadcast, etc.”

Now, thanks to Randy Moss, it’s a one-man show!

Maybe Randy will also redefine the word pompous to mean “regard with the utmost esteem.” If he does, then he’ll have plenty of company from the world of professional sports.

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Breaking News: Bank Robber Decides to Not Wait for Police

Posted by languageandgrammar on July 16, 2010

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Headline in today’s Daily Collegian, which is the excellent student newspaper at Penn State: Bank Robber Flees Scene.

I have to admit that I was not surprised by that–rarely do you find a bank robber who decides to wait around for the police to show up.

Seriously, the Collegian is great–often with better writing and reporting than the local paper–but that headline was too funny to pass up.

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Talk Offline

Posted by languageandgrammar on November 3, 2009

As I mentioned in Literally, the Best Language Book Ever, it’s not surprising that many language trends begin at work since we spend so much time there. Talking offline is certainly one of those trendy phrases–one that started several years ago and now is standard workplace fare.

According to a business dictionary, to talk offline means to continue a line of discussion outside of the original context, typically a different meeting, time, or medium. Since being online or offline is typically understood to mean on the Internet or off the Internet, there is room for confusion, especially for those who haven’t heard the term before.

Besides, it’s annoying to hear time and time again when something more informative, such as “That’s a good point, but we’ll talk about that next week” or “That’s not directly related, so you and I can discuss that tomorrow” or “We need to discuss that but not with everyone in this meeting” would also work.

A larger question is why businesses have their own dictionaries. I though that business people spoke the same language as the rest of us; thus, they wouldn’t need a business dictionary–they would merely need a dictionary.

Perhaps this is proof that business-speak is not standard English.


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Gone Fishin’

Posted by languageandgrammar on August 16, 2009

We have not taken a blog vacation since we started in December 2007, so don’t you think it’s about time we do?  We do–and we’ll resume regular posting in about two weeks (at the start of September). We will continue to moderate comments.

In the meantime, feel free to read any of our over 300 posts, including our composite pages– Sherry’s Grammar List, which is our most popular page, and  Paul’s List.

Oh, and don’t forget to learn a little more about Paul’s book, Literally the Best Language Book Ever.

–Paul and Sherry

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The Snuggie–Make it Stop

Posted by languageandgrammar on March 12, 2009

In Literally, the Best Language Book Ever,  the chapter called You Thought You Were Clever, But… includes statements (often attempts at humor) that were clever at one point, but overuse means that they’re now as funny and charming as being caught in a monsoon without your umbrella. Mocking the  Snuggie has officially fallen into that category.

Even though the overuse of these jokes is horribly trite and annoying, we often use these same tired lines the next time the opportunity presents itself—-as if the next time that we ask “Are we having fun yet?” at a non-funny time will result in non-stop laughter because of your undeniable charm and wit. I’ll give you a hint about your audience, though:   If you didn’t think it was funny the last thousand times that you heard it, then your audience won’t be entertained this time, when you say it. It’s not about delivery. It’s not about picking the right opportunity. It’s over–it’s not funny any longer.

Now that every comedian, talk-show host, celebrity, blogger, and the not-so-funny guy in the office has made fun of the Snuggie, it’s time to move on. We know that it’s dumb to pretend that you can’t answer the phone while under a regular blanket. We know that people look like monks when they wear them. We know that a blanket with sleeves is effectively a robe, which isn’t revolutionary. We know. We know. We know.

By the way, the marketers were brilliant. They knew that they had a lame product, and they capitalized on the fact that people love to make fun of lame products. They even run the lame commercial on the Web site. Can you imagine how many were bought as jokes? There’s a huge profit margin in selling a piece of cloth with arm holes–for 20 bucks, plus shipping and handling. The problem is that the lame part is now the incessant jokes about the Snuggie.

Well, except for this one (the WTF Blanket)–it’s still funny.


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Miami Book Fair, Here I Come

Posted by languageandgrammar on November 11, 2008

The Miami Book Fair is the largest and most prestigious book fair in the country, and I’m very excited to be one of the participating authors this year.

The festival, which takes place on the campus of Miami Dade College every year (and draws hundreds of thousands of book lovers), will be held from November 9 through 16, and I’ll be part of a language panel on Saturday, November 15, talking about my book, Literally the Best Language Book Ever. I will share the stage with fellow Perigee authors Ammon Shea (Reading the OED ) and Mim Harrison (Smart Words). After each of us gives a short presentation, we will answer questions from the audience and have a book signing. Our language discussion will take place at 3:30 p.m.


Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Sherry’s Grammar List

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Radio Head

Posted by languageandgrammar on May 17, 2008

Here’s an update on some of the radio interviews I’ve done to promote the book (Literally, the Best Language Book Ever), along with a list of some upcoming appearances.

I already mentioned this in the blog, so this might sound familiar. I was on CJAD in Montreal (simulcast in Toronto), WGY in Albany, New York, WIBC in Indianapolis, Indiana (pod cast link below), WTKF in Greenville/New Bern, North Carolina, and WFAW in Fort Atktinson, Wisconsin.

Upcoming radio appearances (I’ll include the date and time in case you’re in the area or want to try to listen to a streaming feed on any of the station’s Web sites) include: WJBC in Bloomington, Illinois, from 2:10 until 2:25 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 19; KFOR in Lincoln, Nebraska, from 10:10 until 11:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday May 20; L.E.W.D. Show on SportsTalkNetwork.com from 2 until 2:20 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 22; NPR Madison, Wisconsin (Wisconsin Public Radio), from 7 a.m. until 8 a.m. EDT on Monday, May 26. (I was looking for a good reason to get up at dawn on Memorial Day.)

I will also appear on the nationally syndicated program Something You Should Know with Mike Carruthers at some point in the future. It’s been recorded, but the release date hasn’t been set yet.

For those of you who might be interested, WIBC has my May 12 appearance archived on their Web site. Follow the link for morning news archives; go to May 12, and click on What is your verbal pet peeve?

I expect that there will be additional radio shows to follow, and I’ll keep you posted.


Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Sherry’s Grammar List

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Literally, the Best Language Book Ever in Stores Today

Posted by languageandgrammar on May 6, 2008

Today is a day that I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. My book, Literally, the Best Language Book Ever, is officially being released by Perigee Books. 

Working with Perigee to get it published was a great experience, and now, I’m fortunate enough to have been given several opportunities to talk about the book to the media. The point of writing a book, however, is to be able to write something for other people to read and enjoy, and that day is finally here. The books that have been pre-ordered in recent months will finally be shipped, and the book is now in book stores across the country, including Barnes and Noble, Borders, and many of the larger independent book stores.


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