Magic Words is a collection of phrases and mantras that one can say to oneself (or to others) as a way of communicating more effectively. This easy-to-read book of modern folk wisdom is divided into three parts: magic words to say to yourself, to others, and those for universal applications. Each key phrase is accompanied by 1-3 pages of vignettes illustrating its possible uses. For instance, "KMS" reminds one to "keep mouth shut" when dealing with an argumentative person or when asked an opinion about a sensitive situation; "it's thimble time" reminds the reader to protect himself from small barbs and annoyances the way a thimble protects against pin pricks. "Don't forget, you're not in a phone booth" can remind a cell-phone abuser to be courteous; and "Are you really yelling at me?" can help to defuse an abusive supervisor.
This book is an entertaining and effective guide to help the reader meet some of life's challenges in a polite and graceful manner. Most readers are sure to find some "magic words" that will prove helpful and perhaps even life changing.
Reviewed by ef, 2/02. Other reviews by ef.