Contradictionary: An A-Z of Confusibles, Lookalikes and Soundalikes
Do you know the difference between acetic and ascetic? Burgers and burghers? Bucolic and alcoholic? Complacent, complaisant and compliant? A cassock, a Cossack, a hassock, a tussock, a hillock, a hummock and a pillock? If not, Fritz Spiegl's "Contradictionary" is the book for you. With entries varying from pithy brevity to mini essays, this quirky but well-informed textbook will be essential reading for anyone who has ever been caught using the wrong word in the wrong place (or been caught out being too clever by half). Readers, writers and students of media studies will find answers to frequently asked questions - and a number of questions it had never occurred to them to ask. Fritz Spiegl was a German who came to England as a child. In the intervening 60 years, he never lost his fascination with the eccentricities of the English language and the abuses to which it is often subject.
Fritz Spiegl's many books include Keep Taking the Tabloids, a diatribe against the abuse of English commonly found in our popular press, two gravestone-shaped books A Small Book of Grave Humour and Dead Funny, InWords and OutWords, The Joy of Words, Mediawrite/Mediaspeak (the language of the press and broadcasting), and Music through the Looking-Glass (musical terms and professional jargon). He also produced Scouse International (the Liverpool dialect in five languages, including Japanese) to accompany four earlier volumes of Lern Yerself Scouse.