Book: English Bites!
Author: Manish Gupta
Price: Rs. 250
Publisher: Penguin Books India
English is a funny language! So, Manish Gupta, the banker-turned-author, thought to make people learn & retain English vocabulary in a quirky way and not by rote.
When I came to know that the author is willing to give his book, through a dear friend Manjulika Pramod; I left a mail immediately in the inbox of the writer, and within two days the book was on my hand.
This lexical fiction has been told through anecdotes of his own life experiences where he has been in this journey to get the nuances of English since childhood days. Yes! You got it right. He is continuing his drive to bring out another book for the abecedarian (or even the proficient one) to get the best of the international language.
Any language is a vast place to learn, and it’s not feasible to retain every word. Here, this book comes to your rescue to get meanings, synonyms, contronyms, pronunciation, and origin of words through the methodology of etymology, mnemonic, and references to the websites and books which helped him achieve this command. He amazes you with the painstaking research of words he went through, and inspires you to do the same.
I loved his poetic endeavors to make us retain the words in a beautiful way.
One of them is here: A placid fellow with a complacent look
tried hard to placate the implacable cook.
The only thing which stings me is the railroad joke (page no. 108) he shared with his readers. It seems like an item song in a film like Madras Café. I wish it would have been omitted.
When I got this book with a gratitude note by the author, it made me little apprehensive about the book. There it was written “Thanks very much” which is grammatically wrong. You may write ‘thanks’ or ‘thank you very much’ either of them, but the marriage isn’t on the cards. So, I decided to give full attention to every single word elaborated as a footnote by the author. Often, a slight misconstruction in a meaning brings out a different picture to the world. But, later I didn’t find any other fault except one! The word ‘trivia’. Trivia means: things with little importance; small things/information having no significance. It’s meaning isn’t confined to just ‘small things’. In my opinion, minute details should be given heed while writing a self-help book, and shouldn’t be considered trivia which might otherwise bring disrepute.
But, that doesn’t undermine his book, because there is much more to learn. You are going to learn words without vowels like: cwm, lynx, cyst, etc., and words with maximum letters like: hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia. To get the meanings of all bold letters you shall have to buy this book.
My suggestion shouldn’t be taken as insinuation. I don’t claim to be the master of the language. I’m still learning; so if anyone of you wants to leave any feedback, I warmly welcome you.