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Horrible Words

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A brilliant history and witty guide to the English language, masquerading as mischievous advice on its misuse and abuse

About the Author

Rebecca Gowers is the author of The Swamp of Death, shortlisted for the CWA non-fiction Golden Dagger Award, and of two novels, When to Walk and The Twisted Heart, both longlisted for the Orange Prize. She is also the most recent editor of Plain Words, the classic guide to the use of English by her great-grandfather Sir Ernest Gowers.


A great delight -- David Crystal Gowers is fierce, funny and staggeringly well informed -- Alan Connor * Mail on Sunday * Stuffed with entertaining detail ... Horrible Words is lively, provocative, witty and enlightening * The Times * Exuberant and stimulating ... erudite, informative and fun * Financial Times * Witty ... wry ... As a heretic, Gowers cuts a formidable figure * The Times Literary Supplement * A very useful book, packed with good historical sense -- Lynne Truss * The Times * A joy - informative and irreverent -- Caroline Taggart Witty and erudite ... A splendid antidote to small-minded pedantry -- Robbie Millen * The Times * Will have you enraptured by etymology ... Hugely enjoyable * Reader's Digest *

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