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Word Hero: A Fiendishly Clever Guide to Crafting the Lines that Get Laughs, Go Viral, and Live Forever
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Word Hero: A Fiendishly Clever Guide to Crafting the Lines that Get Laughs, Go Viral, and Live Forever

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  209 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Yes, it’s true: you can learn how to be a verbal wizard!
Ever hear someone utter an unforgettable phrase and feel yourself reacting with with…well, awe?  Ever read a great quote and think I could never come up with anything that clever?  
Daunting as it may seem, there’s nothing mystical about witcraft.  Crafting memorable lines doesn’t require DNA-encoded brilliance.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Three Rivers Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  209 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Word Hero started out promising. The discussion of witcraft had me anticipating a thoughtful and witty book that would break down great quotes and examine what made them stick and how we could craft similarly engaging lines. To be sure, there was some of that, with good analyses of quotes from Warren Buffett and Ogden Nash and a poem by Carl Sandburg. However, for most of the book Heinrichs relies on his own wit and that of his family. And that wit is more groan-inducing than enlightening. You'v ...more
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting book. Good concepts. Lousy examples. Rather than trying to come up with his own mediocre examples of rhetorical figures of speech, he could have done a little research and found more examples in great speeches and autobiographies. To give him a little credit, there were some, but not enough and some of his own were some so bad I actually winced. I suppose I should be critiquing the book with some witty turn of phrase, but the book brought me down by not living up to it's subtitle: A ...more
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Reference toolbox item, much like his other book "Thank You for Arguing". I liked both books to help me with reinforcing verbal information which I hope can go a long way with more manageable communication. This book has a lot of info/data to digest which the author mashes down in "contemporary" terms...much of which I will label as corny sometimes but the intent was evident for its purpose(s).
P.M. Bradshaw
Dec 08, 2011 rated it did not like it
The author really likes himself. The author thinks he's clever - really, really clever; fiendishly clever. He states again and again that his family does not agree with him on this. They are CORRECT.

A very difficult read.
Maggie Brogden
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent "how-to" for forming fresh metaphors and improving writing. I will be reading and rereading this one. If you want to learn how to reset your thinking and avoid cliched writing this is a helpful book.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: linguistics
You're having a chat with one of your friends. He just finished singing the praises for political correctness; feelings are more important than freedom of speech can ever be. One is real while the other is a man-made abstraction. He looks at you with his gleaming hazelnut browns. He's waiting for your response.

You smile. "Don't get me wrong," you say, "Political correctness activists do have the compassion of a Dalai Lama and the righteousness of a Mandela, but they also have the mental acuity
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Can I just put the book here for you? It could speak for itself so much better than I could.

If you are an author and want to be a better writer. If you are an orater and want to be a better speaker. If you are a wallflower and want to pull yourself off that wall and really BLOOM! This book is a must for you!

Ok, I know I soud a little like a sales pitch there. *Shrug* Sorry, but I really did like this book. I found it witty and entertaining, as well as extremely informative. To be honest, I wasn
Mary (BookHounds)
Ever want to be the most clever person in the room, either on paper or in person? Grab this book now as your secret weapon against droll and boring speech! This book on word craft and play is probably the most humorous guide you will ever find about become a better and more memorable writer and speaker. There are exercises that help you build your skills to write more clever lines using what you already know. The author uses clever bits of television banter, most notably from the Glee series, to ...more
Dec 09, 2011 rated it liked it
I got this from the giveaways on goodreads and I must say, for a book about writing, or really, creating memorable quotes, it was easy, even enjoyable to read. The reasons I didn't give this a five star rating is because 1) I highly doubt I could ever read a non-fiction book about writing and go "OMG, must immediately read again." and 2) I had issues with the way he addressed (and chose) his intended audience. After reading, it was fairly obvious that he is writing for either a) a married woman ...more
Linda Schell
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If I were asked to recommend a book that would help one increase their writing skill, I would recommend Elements of Style by E. B. White, Writing Tools: 50 essential strategies for every writer by Roy Peter Clark, and Jay Heinrichs's Word Hero. Not only is Word Hero informative and easy, it is a fun read. A fiendishly clever guide to crafting the lines that get laughgs, go viral, and live forever is an apt description for this book. Nothing more needs said. I recommend it highly, and I will be r ...more
Nov 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Isha by: Goodreads Giveaway
I thought that this book was witty and quite enjoyable to read, although I wish some sections were expanded upon. It would also have been nice if there was a larger variety of examples from humorous shows outside of Glee (The Big Bang Theory, anyone?).

On the other hand, the examples themselves aided a great deal in illustrating what the author was trying to say.

Otherwise, I feel like I learned a great deal from this book, and it's a nice supplementary for students taking any English/writing cla
Kayla Embry
Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Won this book from a Goodreads giveaway!
If you have ever wanted to be the person who could always grab others attention and hold it just by speaking to them or through your writing, this book is for you!! It may not sound like it would be an interesting subject or that this book would be a good read, but it is simply because Jay Heinrichs is a word hero. He manipulates his speech in a way that draws you in and keeps your attention and through this book he teaches the reader to do the same! A wi
Nov 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book was just okay. I had heard so many good things about it, and it was real a let-down. If he is a word hero, then I don't want to be one. He is not clever, fiendishly or otherwise, and has an odd obsession with quotes from Glee. I don't doubt his credentials, but I do doubt his ability to effectively transfer what he knows about crafting lines to his audience. Unless you are utterly clueless, there's not much here that will be of assistance to writers.

I gave two stars due to the definiti
Oct 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Disappointed. Was greatly anticipating, as I loved Thank You For Arguing (enjoyed, read and digested at least a half dozen times, and inspired me to explore the ancient classics on the art of rhetoric).

Found this volume to be "dumbed down" too much, and the goofy pop references, that seemed refreshing and insightful in Thank You For Arguing fell flat in Word Hero. And the author seemed to be straining by the end of the book, as his examples of "story" struck me as entirely uninspiring and uninte
John Orman
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very clever review of many devices that writers or speakers can use to craft witticisms and become the latest Oscar Wilde. Those wordplays include Mr. Potato Head ("all the suspense of a phone book"), Venereal Language ("wag of wits," "cloister of penguins"), Getting Medieval ("get all witty"), Portmanteau ("glitterati"), Russian Doll Figures ("tantrum wrapped in a diaper"), and Yogisms("rise above our principles," "if you come to a fork in the road, take it"). Highly recommended for wordsmith ...more
Morgan (Turbo)
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
I agree, this book starts out good and very interesting but then gets bogged down with not-so-witty anecdotes. I think the main idea is to start with a boiled-down idea, get to the bones of what you want to state, and then build up from there using one of the tools he presents in the book. I might have got some good tips but overall just an OK book
Oct 28, 2011 rated it liked it
The publisher sent me this book because I have a blog about punctuation. I enjoyed the examples of succinct writing. It had some good advice. The only thing that bogs it down a bit is the excessive use of technique names. I'll remember some of the tips but not what the "Mr. Potato Head" is.
Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it

Thanks for the giveaway! This book is a hilarious writing guide that I've already shared with many of the middle-schoolers I teach writing to.
Lindsey Orlando
Aug 02, 2012 marked it as to-read
Mentioned in an interesting article in the in-flight magazine on Southwest Airlines
Lori Wolf
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-reads
This book is not only good for online writing skills, but is finding itself useful to my children for their creative writing skills in High School.
Dylan Carpowich
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 28
This books is not bad at all. It gives you lots of figures to spice up your writing.
Sep 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Read for professional review
Dan Burt
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent resource for producing memorable writing. I'm rereading the book in 2013.
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Much better than the previous book. The content is not buried in unnecessary commentary. The content is relevant and to the point. Highly recommend.
Jonas Anderson
rated it it was amazing
Dec 09, 2011
Steve Wang
rated it liked it
Nov 25, 2018
Donald Huizinga
rated it it was ok
Dec 18, 2017
Ivan K
rated it liked it
Sep 29, 2016
Joshua Jack
rated it did not like it
Mar 11, 2014
rated it liked it
Jun 14, 2014
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Jay Heinrichs is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Thank You for Arguing, published in 12 languages. A third edition is available July 4. The leading modern work on rhetoric, it has been taught in more than 3,000 college rhetoric classes and countless AP English Language & Composition classes. It is one of the top ten books assigned to undergraduates at Harvard.

The book has been pu
“People may claim to hate puns, but most true word lovers have groaned to like them.” 2 likes
“Euphemism. A form of irony that makes bad things sound good—or at least not as bad. Personification. Pretending things are human: another role-playing trope. Kindergarten Imperative. Issues a command in terms of a personal need. Yogism. A foolishly wise expression.” 1 likes
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