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Reference

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  1. 9.2 hrs • 7/1/2015 • Unabridged

    An essential guide to Shakespeare, from the international bestselling authors of Homework for Grown-Ups The Bard was so incredibly prolific that even most Shakespeare scholars would welcome the occasional refresher course, and most of the rest of us haven’t even got a clue as to what a petard actually is. Fear not, the bestselling authors of Homework for Grown-Ups are here to help. For parents keen to help with their children’s homework, casual theatergoers who want to enhance their enjoyment and understanding, and the general reader who feels they should probably know more, Shakespeare Basics for Grown-Ups includes information on the key works, historical context, contemporaries and influences, famous speeches and quotations, modern-day adaptations, and much more.

    Available Formats: Download, CD, MP3 CD
    Shakespeare Basics for Grown-Ups by E. Foley, B. Coates

    Shakespeare Basics for Grown-Ups

    9.2 hrs • 7/1/15 • Unabridged
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    Also: CD, MP3 CD
  2. 7.3 hrs • 8/16/2014 • Unabridged

    The author of Reading the OED presents an eye-opening look at language “mistakes” and how they came to be accepted as correct—or not. English is a glorious mess of a language cobbled together from a wide variety of sources and syntaxes, changing over time with popular usage. Many of the words and usages we embrace as standard and correct today were at first considered slang, impolite, or just plain wrong. Whether you consider yourself a stickler, a nitpicker, or a rule-breaker in the know, Bad English is sure to enlighten, enrage, and perhaps even inspire. Filled with historic and contemporary examples, the book chronicles the long and entertaining history of language mistakes and features some of our most common words and phrases, including decimate, hopefully, enormity, that versus which, enervate versus energize, bemuse versus amuse, literally versus figuratively, ain’t, irregardless, socialist, OMG, and stupider. Lively, funny, and surprising, this is a book that will settle arguments among word lovers—and it’s sure to start a few, too.

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    Bad English

    7.3 hrs • 8/16/14 • Unabridged
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  3. 5.2 hrs • 7/15/2012 • Unabridged

    “I’m reading the OED so you don’t have to. If you are interested in vocabulary that is both spectacularly useful and beautifully useless, read on.” So reports Ammon Shea, the tireless, word-obsessed, and more than slightly masochistic author of Reading the OED. The word lover’s Mount Everest, the Oxford English Dictionary has enthralled logophiles since its initial publication over eighty years ago. Weighing in at 137 pounds, it is the dictionary to end all dictionaries. In twenty-six chapters filled with sharp wit, sheer delight, and a documentarian’s keen eye, Shea shares his year inside the OED, delivering a hair-pulling, eye-crossing account of reading every word and revealing the most obscure, hilarious, and wonderful gems he discovers along the way.

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    Reading the OED

    5.2 hrs • 7/15/12 • Unabridged
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  4. 6.5 hrs • 6/7/2011 • Unabridged

    A veritable ‘TKO of terminology,’ Better Than Great is the essential guide for describing the extraordinary—the must-have reference for anyone wishing to rise above tired superlatives. Deft praise encourages others to feel as we do, share our enthusiasms. It rewards deserving objects of admiration. It persuades people to take certain actions. It sells things. Sadly, in this ‘age of awesome,’ our words and phrases of acclaim are exhausted, all but impotent. Even so, we find ourselves defaulting to such habitual choices as ‘good,’ ‘great,’ and ‘terrific,’ or stock synonyms that tumble out of a thesaurus—‘superb,’ ‘marvelous,’ ‘outstanding,’ and the like. The piling on of intensifiers such as ‘totally’ only makes matters worse, while negative modifiers (‘incredible,’ ‘unreal’) render our common parlance nearly tragic. Until now. Not to mince words, wunderkind of word-wonks Arthur Plotnik is proffering a well-knit wellspring of worthy and wondrous words to rescue our worn-down usage. Plotnik is both hella and hecka up to the task of rescuing the English superlative, offering readers the chance never to be at a loss for words of praise and acclamation!

    Available Formats: Download, Digital Rental

    Better Than Great

    6.5 hrs • 6/7/11 • Unabridged
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    Also: Digital Rental
  5. 2.4 hrs • 11/2/2004 • Abridged

    The classic works on the art of nonfiction writing are now in a complete package for your listening pleasure. This expanded CD collection presents William Zinsser's On Writing Well, the classic teaching book that has sold more than 1 million copies, together with a new 90-minute section that tells you how to write a memoir. Based on a course that Zinsser taught at Yale, On Writing Well has long been praised by writers, teachers and students for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It's for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day. Whether you want to write about people and places, science and technology, business, sports or the arts, this is the definitive guide to the craft of nonfiction. Part II of this collection -- on memoir, personal history and family history -- tells you in helpful detail how to write the story of your life: who you are, who you once were, and what heritage you come from. Throughout, Zinsser refers to the work of many successful memoir writers, including Frank McCourt, Annie Dillard, Russell Baker and Eudora Welty, to demonstrate how they solved the problems of selection, compression, focus and tone that every memoir writer struggles with.

    Available Formats: Download

    On Writing Well

    2.4 hrs • 11/2/04 • Abridged
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