Download The Gift of the Gab: How Eloquence Works Audiobook

The Gift of the Gab: How Eloquence Works Audiobook, by David Crystal Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: David Crystal Narrator: Derek Perkins Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2018 ISBN: 9781541489912
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We all know eloquence when we hear it. But what exactly is it? And how might we gain more of it for ourselves? This entertaining and, yes, eloquent book illuminates the power of language from a linguistic point of view and provides fascinating insights into the way we use words. David Crystal, a world-renowned expert on the history and usage of the English language, probes the intricate workings of eloquence in this lively analysis.

Crystal focuses on the here and now of eloquent speaking—from pitch, pace, and prosody to jokes, appropriateness, and how to wield a microphone. He explains what is going on moment by moment and examines each facet of eloquence. He also investigates topics such as the way current technologies help or hinder our verbal powers, the psychological effects of verbal excellence, and why certain places or peoples are thought to be more eloquent than others. In the core analysis of the book, Crystal offers an extended and close dissection of Barack Obama’s electrifying “Yes we can” speech of 2008, in which the president demonstrated full mastery of virtually every element of eloquence—from the simple use of parallelism and an awareness of what not to say, to his brilliant conclusion constructed around two powerful words: dreams and answers.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Rhetoric has its own algebra, and Crystal deciphers it superbly.”

    Times

  • Narrator Derek Perkins is a wonderful choice for this work on the art of eloquence by renowned language expert David Crystal. AudioFile
  • “David Crystal knows more about language than anyone alive, and here he applies his expertise and wisdom to the art of eloquence. This lively and endearing book explains why we respond to great speakers, and how you can become a better one.”

    Steven Pinker, author of The Language Instinct

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About the Author

David Crystal is Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor. In 1995 he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to the English language. He lives in the United Kingdom.

About the Narrator

Derek Perkins is a professional narrator and voice actor. He has earned numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration, as well as numerous Society of Voice Arts nominations. AudioFile magazine named him a Best Voice consecutively in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Augmented by a knowledge of three foreign languages and a facility with accents, he has narrated numerous titles in a wide range of fiction and nonfiction genres.