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Manser, Martin H(ugh) 1952-

MANSER, Martin H(ugh) 1952-

PERSONAL: Born January 11, 1952, in Bromley, England; son of N. R. (a banker) and M. (a hospital social worker; maiden name, Rubinstein) Manser; married Yusandra Tun, August 3, 1979; children: Hannah Louise, Benjamin Alex. Education: Attended University of Regensburg, 1971-72; University of York, B.A. (with honors), 1974. Religion: Christian.

ADDRESSES: Home and Office—102 Northern Rd., Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP19 9QY, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Polytechnic Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, England, research assistant, 1974-77; Laurence Urdang Associates (now Market House Books), Aylesbury, England, editor, 1977-79; freelance reference book editor, 1980—; research associate at University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England, 1981-83; managing editor of Bible Today Ltd., 1983—. Tabernacle Baptist Church, Wolverhampton, England, deacon, 1975-77; Southcourt Baptist Church, Aylesbury, England, elder, 1990-98, church secretary, 1996-96; Haydon Abbey School, Aylesbury, England, chairman, parent-teacher association, 1991-93, vice chairman, governors, 1993-96, 1998—. Contributor to BBC Radio 4, "Word of Mouth," 2000; language trainer and consultant, 2001—.

MEMBER: European Association for Lexicography, National Union of Journalists.

AWARDS, HONORS: M.Phil. from Council for National Academic Awards, 1977.

WRITINGS:

(With Laurence Urdang) Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms, David & Charles (Devon, England), 1980.

A Dictionary of Contemporary Idioms, Pan Books (London, England), 1983.

A Dictionary of Everyday Idioms, Macmillan, 1983.

Listening to God: Eight Weeks with Luke, Bible Today, 1984.

Listening to God: Four Weeks with Romans, Bible Today, 1984.

(With Derck J. Tidball) Listening to God: Four Weeks with Galatians, Bible Today, 1984.

Pocket Thesaurus of English Words, George Newnes (London, England), 1984.

(With Nigel D. Turton) Student's Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs, Macmillan, 1985.

Children's Dictionary, Deans, 1985.

(With Isabel McCaig) Learner's Dictionary of Idioms, Oxford University Press, 1986.

(With Nigel D. Turton) Penguin Companion Dictionary to the English Language, Penguin, 1986.

Pan Dictionary of English Spelling, Pan (London, England), 1987.

Dictionary of Publishing and Printing Terms, Chambers (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1988.

Guinness Book of Words, Guinness, 1988, 2nd edition, 1991.

Dictionary of Marketing Terms, Chambers (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1988.

Promises of the Bible, Marshall Pickering (London, England), 1989.

(Lexicographer) Advanced Learner's Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1989.

Chambers Bible Quotations, Chambers (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1989, published as The Hearthside Book of Bible Quotations: A Quick-Reference Guide to Familiar Bible Verses, Cumberland House (Nashville, TN), 2001.

Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, Sphere (London, England), 1990.

The Amazing Book of Bible Facts, Marshall Pickering (London, England), 1990.

Get to the Roots: A Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, Avon (New York, NY), 1992.

Concise English-Chinese Chinese-English Dictionary, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1999.

The Ultimate Bible Fact and Quiz Book, River Oaks (Tulsa, OK), 2001.

(With Martin J. Selman) The Hearthside Bible Dictionary: A Quick-Reference Guide to the Bible, Cumberland House (Nashville, TN), 2001.

King James Bible Word Book, Thomas Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2002.

(Contributor) Penguin Concise Thesaurus, Penguin (New York, NY), 2002.

The Facts on File Dictionary of Classical and Biblical Allusions, edited by David Pickering, Facts on File/Checkmark Books (New York, NY), 2003.

editor

(Content editor) Dictionary of the English Language, Collins, 1979.

Concise Book of Bible Quotations, Lion, 1982.

Harper's Portable Book of Bible Selections with Complete Psalms, Harper, 1983.

(Assistant editor) The Macmillan Encyclopaedia, Macmillan, 1983.

Macmillan Student's Dictionary, Macmillan, 1984.

(With Jean-Claude Corbeil) Visual Dictionary, Facts on File (New York, NY), 1988.

Good Word Guide, Bloomsbury (London, England), 1988, 3rd edition, 1994.

Times Good Word Guide, Federal Publications (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1988.

Chambers Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms, Chambers (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1989.

(With Jeffrey McQuain) World Almanac Guide to Good Word Usage, Pharos, 1989.

(With Jean-Claude Corbeil and Ariane Archambault) Junior Visual Dictionary, Facts on File (New York, NY), 1990.

(With Kamal Abu-Deeb) Al Bayan: English-Arabic Dictionary, Macmillan, 1990.

(Managing editor) NIV Thematic Study Bible, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1996.

(With E. M. Kirkpatrick and David Pickering) The Cassell Dictionary and Thesaurus, Cassell (London, England), 1998.

(Coeditor) The Hodder Dictionary of Bible Themes, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1999.

I Never Knew That Was in the Bible, Thomas Nelson (Nashville, TN), 1999.

(Coeditor) Zondervan Dictionary of Bible Themes, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1999.

(Managing editor) NIV Thematic Reference Bible, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1999.

(With Rosalind Fergusson and David Pickering) The New Penguin Thesaurus, Penguin (New York, NY), 2000.

The NIV Comprehensive Concordance, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 2001.

(With Elaine Higgleton and Susan Rennie) Chambers Mini English Thesaurus, Chambers (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2002.

The Facts on File Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases, Facts on File (New York, NY), 2002.

The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs, Facts on File (New York, NY), 2002.

Editor of "Listening to God" series, Bible Today, 1983-84.

compiler

The Chambers Book of Business Quotations, Chambers (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1987.

A Closer Walk with God: Daily Readings from Matthew Henry, Marshall Pickering (London, England), 1987.

Dictionary of Eponyms, Sphere (London, England), 1988, published as Melba Toast, Bowie's Knife and Caesar's Wife: A Dictionary of Eponyms, Avon (New York, NY), 1990.

Daily Guidance, Marshall Pickering, 1988.

Pan/Chambers Book of Business Quotations, Pan (London, England), 1989.

Oxford Learner's Pocket Dictionary, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 1991.

Oxford Learner's Pocket Dictionary with Illustrations, Oxford University Press, 1992.

The Lion Book of Bible Quotations, Lion, 1992, published as Biblical Quotations, Facts on File (New York, NY), 2001.

Daily Guidance: Prayers and Meditations for Every Day of the Year, Cumberland House (Nashville, TN), 2001.

The Quotable Bible, Facts on File/Checkmark Books (New York, NY), 2001.

The Westminster Collection of Christian Quotations, Westminster John Knox Press (Louisville, KY), 2001.

SIDELIGHTS: Martin H. Manser, a British linguist, lexicographer, and Bible scholar, has put his skills to use as an author and editor of reference books for both British and American publishers. Both solo and with collaborators, Manser has produced dictionaries, thesauruses, books of quotations, and trivia books, many of which focus on Christian and Biblical themes.

In recognition of the shift towards teaching literature thematically, Manser produced the Hodder Dictionary of Bible Themes, which includes entries on over two thousand themes found in the Bible and in religious teaching, from theological concepts like salvation and eternal life to factual information on subject like chariots and weather. The Westminster Collection of Christian Quotations categorizes six-thousand quotations in over five-hundred categories. Each topic contains quotes from the Bible and is followed by related quotes from historical figures, ranging from St. Augustine to Malcolm Muggeridge. A reviewer for the Presbyterian Record deemed it more than a reference work, calling it a good resource for "Christians seeking inspiration," and Laurie Selwyn of Library Journal said it was "easy to use."

Many of Manser's works, such as The Quotable Bible, are intended for general audiences and aim to take the stuffiness out of both religion and reference books. The Ultimate Bible Fact and Quiz Book is aimed at students, teachers, and anyone else who wants to test their knowledge on more than seven thousand nuggets of information divided into several categories, including geography, Bible history, and the Bible in the movies. I Never Knew That Was in the Bible traces the origins of everyday sayings such as "the blind leading the blind" and "a fly in the ointment," phrases that can in some cases be traced back as far as the Old Testament. The book also illustrates the differences between various versions of the Bible and even draws on Shakespeare for comparison. A similar volume, King James Bible Word Book, traces some of the words and phrases that have shifted in meaning since the King James Bible was first printed in the seventeenth century. Randy Frame reviewed King James Bible Word Book in Christianity Today and concluded that "people who love to study words and their origins will especially enjoy this volume."

The Facts on File Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases harnesses Manser's knowledge of etymology. The book covers four thousand terms that have entered the English language from other languages, with a heavy emphasis on French and Latin terms, as well as culinary, music, and legal terms. Each entry includes pronunciation and examples of usage, and all words are indexed by language and variant spellings. A review for Booklist called the volume "a strong contender" in the reference library for meeting the needs of a general audience. Connie Weber of the Book Report wrote that Manser does an "excellent job" of collating useful information that results in a book that is "fun to browse."

Manser once told CA, "I believe in presenting reference material in a popular, concise form. Interesting material that is accessible only to academics seems pointless to me. As a committed Christian, I also believe in presenting the Christian message in an attractive and contemporary way."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

periodicals

American Reference Books Annual, 1990, review of The Guinness Book of Words, p. 419, and Chambers Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms, p. 437; 1991, review of The World Almanac Guide to Good Word Usage, p. 425; 2001, review of I Never Knew That Was in the Bible!, p. 589.

Baptist Times, August 7, 2003, Sophia Mwangi, "Martin Is a Man of Many Words."

Bloomsbury Review, March, 1990, review of The World Almanac Guide to Good Word Usage, p. 7.

Booklist, November 15, 1993, review of The Chambers Book of Business Quotations, p. 641; August, 2002, review of The Facts on File Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases, p. 2012.

Book Report, November-December, 2002, Connie Weber, review of The Facts on File Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases, p. 65.

Books, July, 1988, review of A Dictionary of Eponyms, p. 19.

Christianity Today, October 7, 2002, Randy Frame, "Bringing Life to Faith," p. S3.

Library Journal, October 1, 2001, Laurie Selwyn, review of The Westminster Collection of Christian Quotations, p. 86; May 15, 2002, Kitty Chen, review of The Facts on File Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases, p. 86.

Presbyterian Record, July-August, 2002, review of The Westminster Collection of Christian Quotations, p. 46.

Times Educational Supplement, March 25, 1994, review of The Guide to Better English, p. 10; May 2, 1997, review of The Macmillan Dictionary of English Spelling, p. R4.

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