Better Than Great.

Author:Silverstein, Barry
Position:Book review
 
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Arthur Plotnik (author); BETTER THAN GREAT; Viva Editions (Nonfiction: Reference) $15.95 ISBN: 9781573446600

Byline: Barry Silverstein

It isn't that Arthur Plotnik has a problem with praiseahe thinks that's just fine. Rather, it is the manner in which praise is expressed that rankles this writer. He is simply tired of hearing everything that is any good preceded by the word "amazing." He laments that "the terms we use for emphasisaterms repeated over the centuries and replicated virally in this oneaare now anything but exceptional."

That's the reason Plotnik took it upon himself to compile this volume of "some 6,000 suggested alternatives to stale superlatives." Obviously, Better Than Great is a (insert superlative here!) resource for writers of all kindsabut it is enjoyable to read for anyone who shares his enthusiasm for expression.

The author begins with the unconventional idea that superlatives need not be seen simply as synonyms; instead, he classifies them into fifteen categories: Great; Sublime; Physically Affecting; Mentally, Emotionally, or Spiritually Affecting; Beautiful; Joy-Giving; Large; Exceptional; Intense; Delicious; Trendy; Cool; Wicked Cool; Forceful; and, Challenging Belief of Expression. Clearly, Plotnik is having a lot of fun with his own concept. Within each category, the author discusses the rationale for his classification and offers a lengthy list of superlatives, along with an occasional pertinent quote.

Better Than Great is made all the more interesting...

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