A book by Eugene Ehrlich, containing words you might actually need to look up without going through pages of words everyone knows, or nobody uses. Great for literature courses.

I saw a stand-up comedian once (whose name I've forgotten) who explained quite eloquently why this book is so very necessary. I'll paraphrase.

When I need to look up a word, I go to a dictionary, but I don't want to buy one of those huge Oxford English Dictionaries because they weigh four tons and take up more space than a coffee table. So I bought an abridged dictionary, because I thought to myself, "I don't need all the words, just the ones I don't know." So I buy my abridged dictionary, bring it home, and then I have to look up a word. Erudite was the word.

I couldn't find it.

The goddamn dictionary that I bought didn't have my goddam word! So I started looking through the dictionary. I found the word "chair" in the abridged dictionary. What dumbass is going to say to himself, "Hmm, how do I spell this knee-bending ass-resting thing I'm sitting on?" Hat. The word "hat" was in this thing! If you need a dictionary to spell "hat", I bet that you're too stupid to use one! Or maybe you just need a definition? The definition of "hat"? Who cannot define hat? Anyone? If you raised your hand, leave! Right now! "Dictionary"! The word "dictionary" was in the dictionary! Just for those of us with an I.Q. above 12, I wish that the definition would have looked like this:
Dictionary, noun: What are you, an idiot?! see also: the cover.

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