book book
Home awards catalogs newsletter calendar resources exam about

Search the Site

Enter keywords, ISBN, author, or book title

Search the Site

College Planning
Education and Teaching
Language and Literature
Foriegn Language Instruction
Performing Arts
Science and Mathematics
Social Studies
Test Prep
Writer's Workshop

Search the Site
. .
Search the Site


online catalog --
title info
order this title
ordering info for teachers
Email this Page
Print this Page
Search Again
Word Hero
A Fiendishly Clever Guide to Crafting the Lines that Get Laughs, Go Viral, and Live Forever
Written by Jay Heinrichs

Word Hero
Enlarge View

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines - Speech; Reference - Writing Skills; Language Arts & Disciplines - Rhetoric
Imprint: Three Rivers Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date: October 2011
Price: $15.00
Can. Price: $20.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-71636-1 (0-307-71636-8)
Pages: 352

In Word Hero, Jay Heinrichs rescues the how-to of verbal artistry from staid textbooks and makes it entirely fresh and engaging. Here, there are no dry, abstract ideas hidden in academic jargon. Rather, Heinrichs brilliantly reveals mechanisms that make powerful language work.

Students will learn how to choose words strategically and draw indelible verbal pictures by employing such tools as "crashing symbols," "rapid repeaters," "Russian Dolls," and even the powers of Mr. Potato Head. With those tools and others at their disposal, students might not immediately achieve "wordsmith immortality," but they will become better writers, more articulate speakers, and gain a whole new appreciation of language.

Praise for Word Hero:

"Heinrichs' book teaches students of rhetoric and English how to use onomatopoeia, alliteration, hyperbole, and just about every other trick. Filled with references from popular culture (think Glee’s Sue Sylvester, Yogi Berra, Good Night, Moon, Harry Potter, and Jon Stewart), the example-rich chapters are followed by exercises to help readers integrate the various techniques into their writing and speech making. One technique Heinrichs recommends is using the "Mad Libs" approach to writing – take a memorable sentence or phrase and plug in your own words to create a new, equally memorable sentence or phrase. The appendixes are extremely valuable, listing the various tools, when to use them, and showing how they're used throughout the book. This will be of interest to readers on debate teams or in creative-writing classes, as well as to anyone needing a few pointers to make their speech stand out. For anyone fascinated by fun, fantastic, and frivolous words, or for those who want to give speeches where the susurration of their words causes listeners' hearts to thud, this is the book." --School Library Journal

WORD HERO Contents
Preface: The Legend of Quote Boy
Word Apprentice
1. Practice Witcraft
The Square Root of Rainbows: Formulas for memorability
2. Focus Your Thoughts
The Pith Method: Creating the core of wit
3. Capture the Secrets
The Mad Lib Protocol: A tool for accessing the brain’s three memory keepers
Word Novice
4. Layer the Sound Effects
Things That Go Doink in the Night: Crashing symbols and rapid repeaters
5. Play with Words
Britannia Waives the Rules: Puns, near-puns, and puns with a restraining order
6. Invent New Words
The Waitron Blogarati: Portmantizing, Verbing, and group venereal activity
7. Repeat Yourself
The Green Eggs Concoction: Repetition that emphasizes, or changes, your meaning
Word Artist
8. Draw a Picture
Mr. Potatohead, Man of Parts: Catalogs, Russian Dolls, and other ways to bring subjects alive
9. Transform Things
Homicidal Zombie Monetary Instruments: Tools that shrink and expand
10. Change Reality
Tropical Word Storms: Metaphor, simile, and the likeable analogy
Word Wizard
11. Practice Magic
The Belonging Trope: Rhetoric’s sneakiest trick
12. Pump Ironic
Adorable Pet Rocks: Irony, personification, and other role players
13. Pull Words Taut
The Jumbo Shrimp Paradox: Ways to build creative tension
Word Hero
14. Tell a Story
The Lazarus Coke: Figuring a great yarn
15. Speak to a Group
Battle Yoga: Applying your figurative knowledge for public glory
16. Win an Argument
Consensual Socks: Comebacks, brands, and labels
17. Be the Hero
The Jimmy Kimmel Device: A well-figured life
What To Do Next
The Tools
Which Tools to Use When
Technical Terms


Jay Heinrichs is the author of Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion (Crown/Three Rivers Press and Penguin UK). His next book, Word Hero, comes out in October. Jay maintains one of the top language blogs on the Web, Figarospeech.com, and he gives frequent talks and workshops for corporate events, nonprofit groups, and academic institutions.