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Power Phrases (1988)

Richard Cash


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From the introductory matter:

You've just had a splendid meal at a friend's home and you want, naturally, to say something complimentary... But the other guests have already used up all the standard cliche compliments... You'd like to say something that expresses your genuine appreciation in a unique way without being flowery or grandiloquent or pretentious. But what?

This book offers a panoply of interesting and unconventional phrases on a variety of topics and a learning strategy for incorporating them into your spoken language...

You may not feel comfortable using all of the phrases in this guide, especially at first. Begin slowly... When you say the words, see if your audience's attention is caught or if they cringe. If you sense someone wincing, perhaps your chemistry and the phrases you have selected are not quite compatible...

By selecting vivid words and using them in unusual ways, you come off as an educated person with a knack for lending a little pizzaz to commonplace topics...

Read through the book cover to cover. Mark the phrases that immediately strike your fancy.... Remember that the listings are by no means all-inclusive or definitive. The nuances and flexibility of the English language afford a richness of expression that can never be exhausted.

It looks as though this copy was dropped into a toilet, and then fished out. Both of those actions seem appropriate to me...


Marked phrases that struck the previous owner's fancy (from the "CARS" section):

  • MY PLEASURE PALACE ON WHEELS
  • IT THROBS WITH POWER
  • TONS OF CLOUT
Previous owner's marked phrases from the "MONEY" section:
  • THROWING GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD
  • FIGHTING FOR BITES OF THE PIE
  • MONEY SATISFIES MY DEEPEST ASPIRATIONS
  • MONEY-LOVER
  • SAVED BY AN UNEXPECTED WINDFALL
  • TAKE MY MONEY; THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR
  • JUST THE SMELL OF MONEY MOTIVATES ME
Random favorites:
  • A HUGE TABLE OF SCRUMPTIOUS MORSELS AND I FLUTTERED FROM ONE TO ANOTHER
  • AN OSTENTATIOUS HOUSE OF STATELY FUNK
  • BEHAVE AS IF OUR FRIENDSHIP NEVER EXISTED BY PERSISTENTLY REFUSING TO RETURN PHONE CALLS
  • I'VE RUNG YOUR DOORBELL TO SAY THAT YOUR DREAM HAS COME TRUE
  • RECOGNITION BEING SNATCHED FROM ME
  • SO MUCH RAIN THAT I'M LOOKING FOR A CLONE TO BE ADMITTED TO THE ARK
  • HAS A CHARISMA THAT IMMEDIATELY DRAWS INTO ITS ORBIT
(George Raveling is currently a sportscaster; Linda Cristal is the star of such films as Love and the Midnight Auto Supply and The Fiend Who Walked the West; Robert Jaffe wrote Motel Hell and Demon Seed.)
  • CHEAP PERFORMANCE OF FLAGRANT MANNERISMS
  • A DRUG HABIT THAT IS BEHIND ME
  • THE HEALTH FRONT AT THE OFFICE IS ALL SNIFFLY
  • I'VE NEVER BEEN TO A CULT-ORGY, UNTIL NOW
  • WANTED TO TAKE A MACHETE TO THE CULTURE VULTURES
  • I WILL NOT RAIL AGAINST THE FOLDS IN MY NECK AND THE COLLAPSE OF MY GLANDS
  • MAY I COME INTO THE KITCHEN TO TEASE MY NOSTRILS?
  • THANKS FOR A NIGHT OF DEBAUCHERY

(Contributed by Michele, who also donated this week's Fearless Cultural Mania item.)

(See also: Langenscheidts Konversationsbuch English-Deutsch)