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Some years ago I or rather Delacorte published a book called The Logophile's Orgy in which I asked famous writers and some of the cleverest minds around (seven Nobel laureates, etc.) to tell me their favorite words. Despite its peculiar title (no one knew what the title meant), the contributors one and all were unabashedly enthusiastic about the project, often confessing to never having considered the question before. When the book was published Susan Isaacs, I understand, bought a dozen copies to give to friends. Through the responses sometimes one could discern the very landscape of a writer's mind, or his vision of life. When not being profound or revealing, writers were frequently witty or linguistically clever. Edward Gorey for example said "My favorite word is 'silence.' It would be perverse to go on." Others were just direct or succinct. 

The thrust of the book was that we all have favorite words, words that tickle our ears and please our eyes, words that we seem to use more often than other words. I for example use the words "eggplant" and "kumquat" more often in my writing that other words, and I just love the German word "tafelspitz," which is a boiled beef dish quite tasty though it sounds to me more like the name of a dominatrix, especially when you pronounce it "Toffelschpitz." 

In any event this new book, the one you will be reading I hope, this time called Favorite Words Of Famous People, and published by Marion Street Press in which I incorporate the best entries from Logophile's Orgy, such as Erica Jong's "Breath" which only rhymes with death, Mary Higgins Clark's "memories," Dominick Dunne's, Edward Said's, Jack Rosenthal's, Margaret Atwood's, John Updike's, Dave Barry's favorite words, etc., and add to it a hundred new ones, such as Al Gore's, Martin Amis's, Muhammed Ali's, Hillary Clinton's, Freeman Dyson's, Thomas Kennealy's, Nelson DeMille's, Alan Furst's, etc. is in my judgment not only superior to the original, and endlessly entertaining, but important as a reference book, and linguistic record of our time. Browse through it and savor the words of great people who adore words. . . you can only be enriched.

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