The Tyranny of Words

by Stuart Chase (Author)
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The pioneering and still essential text on semantics, urging readers to improve human communication and understanding with precise, concrete language.
In 1938, Stuart Chase revolutionized the study of semantics with his classic text, The Tyranny of Words. Decades later, this eminently useful analysis of the way we use words continues to resonate. A contemporary of the economist Thorstein Veblen and the author Upton Sinclair, Chase was a social theorist and writer who despised the imprecision of contemporary communication. Wide-ranging and erudite, this iconic volume was one of the first to condemn the overuse of abstract words and to exhort language users to employ words that make their ideas accurate, complete, and readily understood.
“[A] thoroughly scholarly study of the science of the meaning of words.” —Kirkus Reviews
“When thinking about words, I think about Stuart Chase’s The Tyranny of Words. It is one of those books that never lose its message.” —CounterPunch

Publication date
April 07, 2015
Page count
Paper ISBN