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A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage ebook

by Bergen Evans,Cornelia Evans

A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage КНИГИ ; ГУМАНИТАРНЫЕ НАУКИ Автор:Bergen Evans, Cornelia Evans Название: A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage Издательство: Random HouseГод: 1957 Формат: pdf Размер: 7 Mb Язык: английскийWhen we speak or write we want to be understood and respected. To accomplish these ends we must know the meanings of words, their specific meanings and their connotations, implications and overtones, and we must know how to combine words effectively into sentences. A dictionary can help us to understand the meaning of a word.

A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage, by Bergen Evans and Cornelia Evans (New York: Random House, 1957) viii, 567 p. 26 cm. Dictionary of Mythology, Mainly Classical (Lincoln, Neb. Dictionary of Mythology, Mainly Classical (Lincoln, Ne. Centennial Press, 1970) xviii, 293 p. illus.

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Evans, Bergen; Evans, Cornelia.

A dictionary of contemporary American usage ; by Bergen Evans and Cornelia Evans. That this splendid book (I have the eighth printing from 1957) is out of print and indeed quite dated in many respects (. Like most usage dictionaries it consists of word entries presented alphabetically followed.

Items related to A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage. Home Evans, Bergen and Cornelia A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage. A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage. Evans, Bergen and Cornelia. Published by Random House, New York, NY, 1957. Condition: Fine Hardcover. From Engel Books (Seattle, WA, .

More than 30 years ago Bergen and Cornelia Evans, in their book A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage (Random House . We invite you to send us your questions about American English and American culture

More than 30 years ago Bergen and Cornelia Evans, in their book A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage (Random House 1957), said of the word . Originating in the United States, . has spread to almost every country on earth. There is something about the phrase as a term of assent or agreement that gives it universal appeal " . We invite you to send us your questions about American English and American culture. We will attempt to answer all letters personally as well as on this page when space permits.

Bergen Baldwin Evans was a Northwestern University professor of English, and a television host. Many were angered by his material but his popularity continued to grow. His book The Natural History of Nonsense (1946) reveals these feelings toward life and people. One of the last successful network programs from Chicago was the low-key game show, Du Mont's "Down You Go" (1951 - 1956), which introduced the erudite Northwestern University professor, Bergen Evans. The show was created by Louis G. Cowan, who had a long history of successful game shows on radio and TV, including "Stop the Music.

by Bergen Evans, Cornelia Evans. ISBN 9780394301778 (978-0-394-30177-8) Hardcover, Random House, 2000. Sasha & Babushka: A Story of Russia - a Make Friends Around the World Storybook. Coauthors & Alternates. Learn More at LibraryThing. Cornelia Evans at LibraryThing.

A companion volume to Fowler- A Dictionary of American-English Usage - appeared in March, 1957. But this hews closer to the American scene, covers a wider range, includes dision or grammar, punctuation, idioms, slang, without going too far down the path of resistance. A wholesome dislike of cliches provide one break.

Delivery was not overly rapid but "good things come to those who wait." On the subject of clichés: the phrases in this book -- written almost 60 years ago -- that are called "overused" are phrases that I had never heard. They are now once again fresh or at least interesting. E.g., "fall between two stools" (meaning indecision). The usage entries are still relevant, intentionally humerous, and not very prescriptive according to my tastes. I had this book when a kid and lost it. I had bought a number of copies and gave them as gifts to largely grateful friends. Who says you can't go home again.
Not the sellers fault - just not what I expected. Arrived quickly and as described.
That this splendid book (I have the eighth printing from 1957) is out of print and indeed quite dated in many respects (e.g., the word "Negro" was then standard usage) is a shame since it is an excellent work on how to use the language with elegance, grace and precision.
Like most usage dictionaries it consists of word entries presented alphabetically followed by comments on the word or words in question. These comments often amount to little essays on how to write effectively or how to distinguish between similar words, or how to feel about certain words, and when (and if) it is acceptable to use certain words or phrases. As such this book belongs to an earlier era when there was no question about the prescriptive nature of a usage guide, while notions of frequency were clearly secondary to judgments about use made by experienced and careful writers.
This was a treasure and delight to me when I first read it as a young writer eager to develop a sophisticated and convincing style. Indeed I read it from cover to cover; and, although it may not always be obvious, the Evanses noticeably improved my style. I took special delight in their many admonitions against the use of cliches. To be honest they overdid it a bit, condemning hundreds of phrases as hackneyed, overworked, trite, stale, shopworn, moth-eaten, etc. until they ran out of adjectives and had to resort to clever and humorous circumlocutions to get across their message. Here is the way they treat the (over)use of Shakespeare's "alas, poor Yorick!":
It is sad that "a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy" should be known to us only through such a threadbare quotation. Alas, indeed, poor Yorick! There is another line from Hamlet that should always be uttered after this one: "What, has this thing appear'd again tonight?" Or, if one perceives that it is about to be spoken, appeal to the speaker's better nature: "Refrain tonight, and that shall lend a kind of easiness to the next abstinence." And if he does forbear: "For this relief, much thanks."
The subject of cliches did not leave me until I encountered the lyrics of Bob Dylan. Initially I was underwhelmed and then amazed at how many cliches he could pack into any given song. And then at some point a light dawned on me and I realized that Dylan had invented a new poetic device: expression by cliche! Instead of using mere words in metaphorical and rhythmic ways, he used familiar phrases. Oh my, my, my what would the Evanses have thought?
One of the things that the Evanses do that is not done in usage books much anymore is to make distinctions of usage between words that are not necessarily confused but have different shades of meaning or connotation. Thus one entry is for "inquire; ask; demand; question." Most people for whom English is the native language can use these words appropriately and would say that the bank robber "demanded" the money, not that he "asked" for it. (And certainly not that he "inquired" about it.) Here the Evanses point out that "ask" is "the everyday word" and that "inquire...always implies asking about something specific."
Another thing they do well is to explain the origin and meaning of many words, phrases and idioms that we commonly use without thinking. For example in their entry for "make bricks without straw" the Evanses give the origin of the phrase (from Exodus), explain what it originally meant, how it is misused and misunderstood, and, in this case, finally dismiss it as "worn out with overuse."
Or consider their entry on "malapropism." Such is the delicious history and meaning of this word that no usage dictionary that I know of omits it. But here the explanation is carried to a very pleasant height. First, not only is the word defined but the Evanses explain how a malapropism "is worse than a mispronunciation because a simply honest ignorance; whereas malapropisms...occur in the speech of those who...soar above their abilities and display...not only their ignorance but their vanity as well." Then they recall Sheridan's Mrs. Malaprop, as all usage books do. However they are not content with this. Instead the Evanses recall Shakespeare's Mistress Quickly as well, remarking that she does the same thing only better, and that it is only the "capriciousness of fame" that we say "malapropism" instead of "quicklyism."
The real value of this book is then not so much in the usage advice per se but in the lexicographic erudition eloquently displayed along with guidance through example on how to write with the effectiveness that comes with using exactly the right word in exactly the right place. While few of us can draw on the sort of knowledge that the Evanses could, it is good to know what is possible.
This is a book especially for those who love the English language and take delight in its artistic use. If a usage dictionary can be considered literature, this book is a resplendent example.
This reference "dictionary" for grammatical questions is absolutely first-rate -- even if it was published in 1957. It debunks the theory that 'which' as a relative pronoun must always be preceded by a comma; it acknowledges that the passive is alive and well in American English. This is a reference book that has held up extremely well for more than 50 years. And the authors do everything with a great sense of humor.
The other reviews don't mention the books wonderful grammar essays which are broken up under the "definitions" of such words as "gerund". The authors compare English and Latin grammar and believe that much that was taught in school in the 1950's as grammar was really Latin. Of course they don't discuss modern transformational grammar but what they do discuss is a joy. At least for anyone old enough to have studied traditional grammar on school.
A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage ebook
Bergen Evans,Cornelia Evans
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Random House (January 2000)
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