“I must refrain from shouting what a brilliant work this is (præteritio). Farnsworth has written the book as he ought to have written it – and as only he could have written it (symploce). Buy it and read it – buy it and read it (epimone).”Bryan A. Garner, Garner's Modern English Usage
Everyone speaks and writes in patterns. Farnsworth is your guide to patterns known as rhetorical figures that can make your words more emphatic, memorable, and effective. This book details the timeless principles of rhetoric from Ancient Greece to the present day, drawing on examples in the English language of consummate masters of prose, such as Lincoln, Churchill, Dickens, Melville, and Burke.
Most rhetorical figures amount to departures from simple and literal statement, such as repeating words, putting words into an unexpected order, leaving out words that might have been expected, asking questions and then answering them. All apply to the composition of a simple sentence or paragraphrepetition and variety, suspense and relief, concealment and surprise, the creation of expectations and then the satisfaction or frustration of them. Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric is for anyone who wants to be a better speaker or writer.
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About the Author
Ward Farnsworth is Dean of the University of Texas School of Law and author of The Practicing Stoic as well as the Farnsworth Classical English series which includes Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric, Farnsworth's Classical English Metaphor, and Farnsworth's Classical English Styleall published by David R. Godine.
What People are Saying About This
"The most immediate pleasure of this book is that it heightens one's appreciation of the craft of great writers and speakers. Mr. Farnsworth includes numerous examples from Shakespeare and Dickens, Thoreau and Emerson, Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln. He also seems keen to rehabilitate writers and speakers whose rhetorical artistry is undervalued; besides his liking for Chesterton, he shows deep admiration for the Irish statesman Henry Grattan (1746-1820), whose studied repetition of a word ("No lawyer can say so; because no lawyer could say so without forfeiting his character as a lawyer") is an instance, we are told, of conduplicatio. But more than anything Mr. Farnsworth wants to restore the reputation of rhetorical artistry per se, and the result is a handsome work of reference." --(Henry Hitchings)
"I must refrain from shouting what a brilliant work this is (paeteritio). Farnsworth has written the book as he ought to have written it – and as only he could have written it (symploce). It is copious and erudite and well-documented (polysyndeton). Buy it and read it – buy it and read it (epimone)." --(Bryan A. Garner, author of The Elements of Legal Style)
"Every writer should have this book." --(Erin McKean, editor of Verbatim: The Language Quarterly and CEO of wordnik.com)
An engaging and accessible guide, valuable to all who wish to improve their rhetorical skills or better appreciate the abilities of others.
So, dear reader, I say it even if I say it myself—get this book! No, really, get this book! Read clever Farnsworth, and read him again, and you may become more clever yourself. —Carlin Romano, The Chronicle of Higher Education
"Ward Farnsworth's invaluable review of classical English rhetoric is not only a vital tool for aiding clear expression, but a timely reminder that, despite the confusion of the present technological age, human nature, and our ability to communicate in clear and often beautiful ways, are unchanging." --(Victor Davis Hanson, co-author of Who Killed Homer?: The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom)