Your boss makes a joke about Schrodinger's cat--which is something you've heard of but you're a little vague about what exactly happened (or didn't happen) with that cat. Or you're reading a New Yorker article that explains that "Solecism slipped into solipsism into full-blown narcissistic project." An excellent point . . . if you're sure what "solecism" means . . . or, for that matter, "solipsism."
Language gurus Ross Petras and Kathryn Petras to the rescue! In the breezy and entertaining yet informative style of their New York Times bestseller You're Saying It Wrong, they give you a brief rundown on words smart people should know--from the worlds of science and the arts to philosophy, and from broader topics like quantum physics and ontology to more specific ones like Plato's cave and trompe l'oeil. They cover the Latin phrases we hear and read (prima facie, sui generis, and the like) as well as those that have entered our vocabularies from other languages (bildungsroman, sturm und drang).
These are the words that, if you were asked directly, "What does this mean?" you might hem and haw and try to change the subject. After reading this book, you won't have to.
Ross Petras and Kathryn Petras are the authors of the #1 bestselling page-a-day calendar The 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said and many other humor and gift books, most recently That Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means. They recently launched a new NPR-affiliate podcast based on their New York Times bestseller You're Saying It Wrong. Their work has received the attention of personalities like David Brinkley and Howard Stern, and media outlets including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Cosmopolitan, Washington Post, HuffPost, and the Times (UK). They have appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows including Good Morning America (about menopause), CNN (about bad poetry), and Fox & Friends (about Paris Hilton).
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