The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth - A Review

Review Jul 06, 2021

From the most iconic movie dialogues to your favourite Beatles lyrics, advertising slogans to the most unforgettable one-liners, Mark Forsyth breaks them all down in this refreshingly funny read - explaining the secrets behind the English language's most celebrated phrases and what makes them so memorable. Laced consistently with his unmatchable wit, the book is replete with enough relatable examples (dialogues, lyrics, you name it) in every chapter to make you go "ah damn yes"

Mark Forsyth is brilliant in his writing style, as he managed to convey a long-researched and long-debated heavy subject in the most entertaining format, whilst being very informative at the same time. The subject is thoroughly researched, although at no point does it seem like an information overload as many non-fiction books do. The writing just flows, is very lucid and contains intermittent anecdotes to keep you engaged throughout. Forsyth delves deep into the chaotic world of figures of rhetoric - with a separate chapter devoted to each. There' s no particular order to be followed to read this book, you can simply pick up any chapter at random for a light breezy read and the laughs will follow all the same. A word of caution though - at the face of it, this book could very quickly come off as study of the figures of rhetoric, full of intimidating words, meant only for language enthusiasts or such; resulting in many readers to give it a pass. However, if you're into wit & humour, puns, clever one-liners and amusing wordplay, this could turn out to be a very enjoyable and interesting read for a lot of you.

Divyashree Vaidya

DJLIT Editorial Co-committee member

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