Charles Harrington Elster

Charles Harrington Elster

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Charles Harrington Elster is a writer, broadcaster, and logophile — a lover of words. He has so far published twelve books and numerous articles about the English language, all intended for a general audience (no textbooks or scholarly tomes). His latest book is "How to Tell Fate from Destiny and Other Skillful Word Distinctions" (October 2018), a combination of a thesaurus and a usage manual designed to help readers choose properly among commonly confused words. It is also available as an audiobook (from HighBridge) narrated by Charlie. He is also the author of the popular vocabulary-building program "Verbal Advantage" and its even more comprehensive companion program, "Word Workout," which is available both in print and in audio, narrated by Charlie. His other books include "Tooth and Nail" and "Test of Time," vocabulary-building novels for high school students preparing to take the college entrance exams; "There's a Word for It," a lighthearted look at unusual — and unusually useful — words; "What in the Word?" a salmagundi of word lore, wordplay, and advice on usage and pronunciation; "The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations," now in its second edition, which the late William Safire of The New York Times hailed as "the best survey of the spoken field in years"; and "The Accidents of Style: Good Advice on How Not to Write Badly," which Constance Hale, author of "Sin and Syntax," called "useful, nuanced — and funny, too." Charlie was a consultant for "Garner's Modern English Usage," and he is the pronunciation editor for "Black's Law Dictionary." He was a guest contributor to William Safire's "On Language" column in The New York Times Magazine, and his articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and other publications. Charlie has also been talking about language on the radio since 1985. He has been interviewed on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," "Weekend Edition," and "All Things Considered" and been a guest on hundreds of radio shows around the country. For five and a half years he cohosted a weekly public radio talk show on language called "A Way with Words." He currently appears live for an hour on the third Thursday of each month on KOA 850 AM Denver. Charlie was born in New York City in 1957 and earned his B.A. cum laude from Yale in 1981. He lives in San Diego.
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