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As the superfluity of uninspired, careless, grammatically incorrect, slang-ridden English makes plain, elegant English is English rarely heard, English seldom seen. Countless occasions where elegant English might have been used - indeed, ought to have been used - by a president or politician, an author or other notable, have passed with bland, if not bumbling, speech or writing. The point of this book is to show that the language can be spoken or written with grace and polish - qualities that much contemporary English is bereft of and could benefit from. Elegant English is grammatically correct English, it is uncommon English, it is rhetorical English. It is all three or any one or two. The second edition contains more than a thousand examples of elegant English, including examples of rhetorical figures from classic and contemporary literature (from Charles Dickens to Toni Morrison, from Joseph Conrad to Wallace Stegner). Elegant English is exhilarating; it stirs our thoughts and feelings as ably as everyday English blurs them.
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