A dictionary for those who perceive a difference, a handbook for Superior Persons who love words.
Are you an Anglophile? (Stout fellow!) Just stand at this springboard and leave the fields of popinjay jabber and tongue-stumped battology behind forever! Step up for big dividends in the giddy heights of superior speech. Are you a rasorial searcher after words? Are nouns your bread? Adjectives your butter? Verbs your little salad? Adverbs your house dressing? Well, then, this is the book to shiver you futtocks! Put an end to fopdoodly speech; amaze your friends, baffle your enemies, write interoffice memos to end all discussion! Peter Bowler will teach you the practical riches of saying it well with good words, neglected words, precise words for vocabular exultation. A Superior Person is not defined by income, class, or sex. A Superior Person uses Superior Speech. And, if Aristotle’s definition of art as something both entertaining and edifying is still toasted with glee, then there’s art a-chock-a-block in Mr. Bowler’s dictionary – a funny, useful, and elevating little book.
from The Superior Person’s Book of Words:
ITAIITAI n. A bone disease caused by cadmium. Said to be derived from the Japanese equivalent for “Ouch, ouch!” The interest of this to the lexicographer lies in the possibility of forming similar neologisms in English to provide more directly meaningful names for other diseases and conditions. Thus, “Eek, eek!” for arachnophobia; “Er, er” for aphasia; “Unh, unh!” for constipation; “Ha, ha!” for alopecia; “Oh, oh!” for impotence; and so on.
Praise for The Superior Person
Nothing short of a brief dictionary for those who aspire to linguistic snobbery.
—St. Petersburg Times