David Crystal is an independent scholar with lifelong experience as a lecturer, public speaker, and broadcaster. He lives in Holyhead, UK.
What do we mean by eloquence? In his new book the smart and prolific pop-linguist David Crystal sets out to give an answer-and some practical suggestions as to how any of us might work to acquire it. -Sam Leith, Financial Times Rhetoric has its own algebra, and Crystal deciphers it superbly. -Philip Collins, Times Reading this book is like taking an adventure in eloquence with Crystal; part self-help guide, part informative nonfiction, The Gift of the Gab offers an enjoyable exploration into the minutiae of successful speech-making, and how the capability to speak eloquently exists in all of us. -Kate Lovatt, Babel 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 and The Sense of Style As an occasional public speaker, and a nervous one at that, I found David Crystal's gift to the gabless a reassuring read. He provides practical advice to we poor 'glossophobics' and, like all the best speeches, his book illustrates, illuminates and inspires. -Roger McGough David Crystal's enthusiasm for his subject is infectious. This is an entertaining, erudite and very useful guide for both the seasoned speaker and the neophyte. -Katherine Fry, co-author of Grammar for Grown-Ups More bakers are called Baker than is statistically likely. Or so they say. More Fishers trawl the seas and doubtless more Frys work in chip shops. They call it nominative determinism. I expect David Crystal must tire of being told how aptly limpid, pellucid and crystal-clear his writing always is. Nonetheless it is true. I have come across many books on rhetoric, on good writing, on efficient language production and countless guides to public speaking and increasing 'word power,' but the beguiling subject of eloquence has not, so far as I am aware, been tackled before and certainly not so masterfully and comprehensively. Crystal covers eloquence so damned eloquently. And with exactly that flair, accessibility, clarity, wit and authority we have come to expect from Britain's leading public linguist. This is a book that will be leapt upon by anyone curious about how language, that unimaginably powerful endowment we all share, can be elevated beyond the mundane in all kinds of discourses. This is not about hifalutin language, it is about living language. Every page crackles with insight, humour and understanding. Crystal's passion for his subject communicates quite brilliantly. I closed this superb book filled with even more enthusiasm for language than I had had when I opened it. -Stephen Fry