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Publisher's Summary

We all know eloquence when we hear it. But what exactly is it? And how might we gain more of it for ourselves? This entertaining and, yes, eloquent audiobook illuminates the power of language from a linguistic point of view and provides fascinating insights into the way we use words. David Crystal, a world-renowned expert on the history and usage of the English language, probes the intricate workings of eloquence in this lively analysis.

Crystal focuses on the here and now of eloquent speaking - from pitch, pace, and prosody to jokes, appropriateness, and how to wield a microphone. He explains what is going on moment by moment and examines each facet of eloquence. He also investigates topics such as the way current technologies help or hinder our verbal powers, the psychological effects of verbal excellence, and why certain places or peoples are thought to be more eloquent than others.

In the core analysis, Crystal offers an extended and close dissection of Barack Obama's electrifying "Yes we can" speech of 2008, in which the president demonstrated full mastery of virtually every element of eloquence - from the simple use of parallelism and an awareness of what not to say, to his brilliant conclusion constructed around two powerful words: dreams and answers.

©2016 David Crystal (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about The Gift of the Gab

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Something to look at

Some elements of this book I believe are quite visual and therefore this book would be improved by having an accompanying PDF

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  • Noel
  • 29-09-2020

more examples than content

I found the book to be informative but lacking in its objective. I feel there are more examples of the objective than actually trying to teach the reader on how to obtain the "gift of gab."

1 person found this helpful

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