500 Words You Should Know by Caroline Taggart (2015)
500 Words You Should Know
by Caroline Taggart
Michael O’Mara, 2015
Do you ever get bored with your vocabulary? Perhaps you want to express your thoughts in a more powerful fashion. In either case, Caroline Taggart’s 500 Words You Should Know is indispensable to logophiles. Most of the words should be familiar to readers, but Taggart does challenge some modern-day usage of words such as decimate and kudos. It is interesting to learn the history of such words, and decide whether we should become inured to their incorrect usage.
Taggart divides the entries into seven themed sections to help the reader locate the perfect word for whatever situation he finds himself. In the first section, the author warns that overuse of these words “become boring or annoying if taken too far.” In other words, as you aspire for a burgeoning vocabulary, take care not to become ostentatious.
The author states the book is not “intended to teach or to preach.” Rather, “it hopes to stop you briefly in your tracks as you flick through its pages and say, as I have done, ‘Ooh, that’s a nice word.’” Certainly, those who like nice words will enjoy 500 Words You Should Know.