Dictionary of Fine Distinctions

Nuances, Niceties, and Subtle Shades of Meaning

By Eli Burnstein (Author)

Price$20.00

Format Hardcover

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Dictionary of Fine Distinctions

Nuances, Niceties, and Subtle Shades of Meaning

by Eli Burnstein
OVERVIEW
"This delightful book is a tribute to the genius of the human mind for conceptual precision and the beauty of the English language in capturing it. It resolves a great deal of puzzlement over confusable terms, and its endearing illustrations and lighthearted explanations multiply the satisfaction." —Steven Pinker, author of The Language Instinct and Rationality

What’s the difference between mazes and labyrinths? Proverbs and adages? Clementines and tangerines? Join author Eli Burnstein on a hairsplitter’s odyssey into the world of the ultra-subtle with Dictionary of Fine Distinctions. Illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist Liana Finck, this humorous dictionary takes a neurotic, brain-tickling plunge into the infinite (and infinitesimal) nuances that make up our world.

The perfect gift for book lovers, word nerds, trivia geeks, and everyday readers, this illustrated gem is more than just a book—it is an indispensable resource akin to a thesaurus but filled with charm and wit. Each entry, from “latte vs. flat white" to “Great Britain vs. The United Kingdom," is accompanied by mnemonic aids, quirky asides, and detailed illustrations, making it a standout dictionary for any bibliophile or language enthusiast's library.

For fans of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows or Foyle's Philavery: A Treasury of Unusual Words, Dictionary of Fine Distinctions promises to be a cherished addition to the genre that offers clarity, joy, and a deeper appreciation for the subtleties of the English language. The quintessential librarian gift and English teacher gift, it’s an educational odyssey that’s as entertaining as it is enlightening.
PRAISE
"This delightful book is a tribute to the genius of the human mind for conceptual precision and the beauty of the English language in capturing it. It resolves a great deal of puzzlement over confusable terms, and its endearing illustrations and lighthearted explanations multiply the satisfaction." —Steven Pinker, author of The Language Instinct and Rationality

"This solid little volume is that rare thing: a usage manual that is both smart and utterly beguiling." —Mary Norris, former copy editor at The New Yorker and author of Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen

"A great idea, beautifully realized. I shall never have a latte again without thinking of this book! A joy to read." —David Crystal, Linguist and Author of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language

"Mark Twain once advised, 'Use the right word, not its second cousin.' Eli Burnstein's delightful book will help you figure out just the right word to use when nuances matter. And it will even help you figure out your cousins: What's the difference between a second cousin and a cousin twice removed, anyway? The answer lies within!"
—Ben Zimmer, Wall Street Journal language columnist

“Every page of Eli Burnstein’s treasure of a book yields unexpected delights and talking points. His sense of humour and passion for esoteric knowledge have inspired me to engage with language in a different way. I know I’ll keep dipping into it all over again periodically for years to come.” —Mae Martin, Comedian and Writer

"Like bringing a blurry image into focus, the fine distinctions we make in English sharpen our view of the world. Eli Burnstein‘s witty explanations clarify our choice of words and remind us that, with language, precision is its own reward." —Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large, Merriam-Webster

"Eli Burnstein writes with aphoristic, or should that be epigrammatic, grace and pomp. The sensation of reading him is that of strolling outdoors with a friend who’s just read a great explanatory treatise on, well, actually, everything, and whose demeanor is bubbly, useful, endlessly curious, and never didactic." —Natan Last, New York Times crossword contributor and author of The Electric Grid


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

Eli Burnstein is a humor writer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Slackjaw, Weekly Humorist, The Offing, and Points in Case. He runs a spelling bee (Spelling Bae) that has been featured in the Toronto Star and the National Post, and on CBC Radio. Burnstein is Canadian and lives in London, UK.

 

Pub Date: 4/9/2024

ISBN: 9781454952350

Price: $20.00 / $26.00 CAN

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 208 pages, 100 1-color illus.

Trim: 5 x 7 x 0 Inches

Territories: WENG

Category: Other Gifts & Stationery

Publisher: Union Square & Co.

Carton Quantity: 32