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Wit & Humour in Education By Williams Davis

Wit & Humour in Education by William Davis

Wit and humour in education has a long history. The Greeks and Romans used it to illustrate a point, support an argument, expose hypocrisy, and lampoon their opponents. (Aristotle called it ‘educated insolence’). Higher education was exclusively devoted to debate and declamation and was in the hands of a rhetor, a specialist teacher of public speaking.

The sayings in this collection have been chosen because they still, or have newly, given the editor pleasure and also because we hope they will be as useful for others as they have been for him – adding spice to conversations, debates, speeches, lectures and essays.

Derek Curtis Bok, the former president of Harvard University once said “If you think education is expensive – try ignorance” This book aims to help by providing what Shakespeare called ‘paper bullets of the brain’ – witty quotations that provoke reflection as well as laughter. They can be used to illustrate a point or support an argument.

This sparkling treasury of quotations is not only fun to read but also an invaluable source of apt quotations for speakers. It makes an excellent gift.

William Davis is a former financial editor of the Guardian, editor of Punch for most of the 1970’s, presenter of the money programme on BBC television and author of best-selling books on business and a public speaker with an international reputation.

Printed Version £9.99 plus p&p

Wit & Humour in Politics By Williams Davis

Wit & Humour in Politics by William Davis

Humour has been a force in politics since ancient times. The Greeks and Romans used it to illustrate a point, support an argument, or mock their opponents (Aristotle called it ‘educated insolence’) Successive
generations have added to the Treasury and you will find many gems in this collection.

GK Chesterton, the English wit, wrote that “Satire is a sword; it is meant to make people feel the point as well as to see it”. That is as good a definition as any.

We talk about freedom of speech in principle but have become increasingly prepared to compromise and restrict it in practise. This is certainly true of politicians in Britain, but it still leaves ample scope for the kind of wit you will find in this book. Have fun.

Of course, humour is subjective: what makes one person laugh may well offend and even enrage another. Satire is often cruel, but so is the game called politics. As a former US president famously said “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”.

This sparkling treasury of quotations is not only fun to read but also an invaluable source of apt quotations for speakers. It makes an excellent gift.

William Davis is a former financial editor of the Guardian, editor of Punch for most of the 1970’s, presenter of the money programme on BBC television and author of best-selling books on business and a public speaker with an international reputation.

Printed Version £9.99 plus p&p

Wit & Humour in Travel By Williams Davis

Wit & Humour in Travel by William Davis

It’s not enough to string together a series of jokes, or quotes, without any regard for the context or relevance. Special care needs to be taken by travellers in countries where the language and customs are different from their own; a joke, or quotation, can easily be misunderstood and provoke an angry reaction.

An American who was asked to address a Japanese audience told them that he was tickled to death to be there. The interpreter described him as “scratching himself until he died”.

There is also the true story of a chief executive who made a speech in Tokyo and later found out that the opening had been translated like this:
“American businessman is beginning speech with thing called joke. I am not certain why, but all American businessmen believe it necessary to start a speech with a joke”. (Pause) “He is telling joke now, but frankly you would not understand joke so I won’t translate it. He thinks I am telling you joke now”. (Pause) “Polite thing to do when he finishes is to laugh”. (Pause) “He is getting close”. (Pause) “Now”!

The art of the humorous speech is that it remains a speech, moulded to the theme of the event with every remark pertinent to the occasion. So long as humour has a point, and a sense of direction, one will never be far off target. Properly used, witty quotations can help to establish rapport, support an argument and supercharge one’s writing or conversation.

This sparkling treasury of quotations is not only fun to read but also an invaluable source of apt quotations for speakers. It makes an excellent gift.

William Davis has edited High Life, the British Airways inflight magazine for 25 years. He is a former director of Thomas Cook and Chairman of the British Tourist Authority and the English Tourist Board and a public speaker with an international reputation.

Printed Version £9.99 plus p&p

Wit & Humour in Love By Williams Davis

Wit & Humour in Love by William Davis

The famous female wit, Agnes Repplier, maintained that “we cannot really love anyone with whom we do not laugh” and GK Chesterton wrote that ‘satire is a sword; it is meant to make people feel the point as well as to see it’. This book aims to help.

It is primarily intended for the quick collaring of what Shakespeare called ‘paper bullets of the brain’ – witty quotations that provoke reflection as well as laughter. They can be used to illustrate a point or support an argument.

Humour is also a vital ingredient of an after dinner speech the art of which is that it remains a speech, moulded to the theme of the event with every quote pertinent to the occasion.

The best man at a wedding all too often strings together a series of bad jokes and wonders why the other guests don’t laugh, or look embarrassed. Give him this book!

This sparkling treasury of quotations is not only fun to read but also an invaluable source of apt quotations for speakers. It makes an excellent gift.

William Davis is a former financial editor of the Guardian, editor of Punch for most of the 1970’s, presenter of the money programme on BBC television and author of best-selling books on business and a public speaker with an international reputation.

Printed Version £9.99 plus p&p

Wit & Humour By Williams Davis

Wit & Humour in Business by William Davis

This book is mainly intended for the quick collaring of an apt quotation but also for browsing; it can add sparkle to a speech and is an antidote to stress, a tranquiliser without side effects.

Business life would be dull without wit and humour. It helps to establish personal rapport; defuses anger; provokes reflection as well as laughter, and can be used to illustrate a point or support an argument. It is a vital ingredient of an after dinner speech.

This sparkling treasury of quotations is not only fun to read but also an invaluable source of apt quotations for speakers. It makes an excellent gift.

William Davis is a former financial editor of the Guardian, editor of Punch for most of the 1970’s, presenter of the money programme on BBC television and author of best-selling books on business and a public speaker with an international reputation.

Printed Version £9.99 plus p&p

how to be british

Wit & Humour in Medicine by William Davis

The medical profession has long recognised that humour is a valuable tool to relieve stress – tranquillisers without side effects.

The aim, then as now, was not to make fun of the patient but to reduce the anxiety we all feel when confronted with medical problems. It is an essential part of a reassuring bedside manner.

This is not a book of jokes (although it is funny) but one intended for the quick collaring of an apt quotation. Healthcare is such a broad field that it includes many which are simply linked to medicine in some way – exercise, dieting, smoking and birth control are obvious examples.

This sparkling treasury of quotations is not only fun to read but also an invaluable source of apt quotations for speakers. It makes an excellent gift.

William Davis is a former financial editor of the Guardian, editor of Punch for most of the 1970’s, presenter of the money programme on BBC television and author of best-selling books on business and a public speaker with an international reputation.

Printed Version £9.99 plus p&p
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