English Language Word Builder
by Bob Jackman
Trafford Publishing

"The English Language Word Builder is a useful reference for people wishing to improve their English Vocabulary."

At first glance, English Language Word Builder seems to be a five-page introduction (most of which is a key to the symbols used through out) and a three hundred and twenty page list of words. Without definitions and little explanation, this book serves more as a map to further learning, than the actual expanding of one's vocabulary. However, in its formatting, lies its usefulness. Arranged first by word length, from two letters to nine, Jackman splices these lists by parts of speech, namely verbs and nouns. Within these categories, the words separate themselves again by common use words and less common. This final distinction proves to be one of the books finer points, setting readers on the right track to what they wish to study given their particular experience and interest. The more familiar word lists are a good place to expand one's vocabulary, especially non-native English speakers, while the less familiar serves those with more mastery over the language.

While the book is useful for those continuing their understanding of the English language, without some familiarity, it could be confusing. Jackman defines verbs and nouns for the purpose of his book as: "a word that can be extended by S or ES, or by IES after dropping a Y ending" and "a word which can be extended with (E)S, (E)D and ING." While these definitions lack the complexity of the language, they do simplify it in a way that could benefit someone wanting to memorize new words. Where the book is most useful is for word enthusiasts, especially word game players, who will find delight in the less familiar word lists. Jackman himself has represented Australia five times at world SCRABBLE Championships and is a member of the World English Scrabble Players Association.

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