Elster specializes in writing about the English language for a general audience. His books focus on vocabulary, pronunciation, and usage, and include two vocabulary-building novels for high school students. He is also a longtime radio commentator on language.
How to Tell Fate from Destiny and Other Skillful Word Distinctions
"This charming and useful book," says the Yale Alumni Magazine, "offers witty, wise advice on the right way to deploy some of the English language's trickiest words." It's a combination of a thesaurus, chock-full of perspicuous and perspicacious synonym discriminations (like "perspicuous" and "perspicacious") and a usage manual, replete with advice on how to differentiate commonly confused words and steer clear of verbal trouble.