"Eureka! has a great deal to say about the most effective methods of presenting ideas in words for technical writers, for marketing teams, and for effective group communication."
Capers Jones, President and founder of Software Productivity Research, and Author of over 15 books.

"This book is a great choice for not only business professionals looking ways to improve their communication skills, but is also an excellent supplemental text for students seeking to communicate in a succinct fashion. From Verbosity to the misuse of words, which people do frequently and unknowingly - this book has taken the "challenging" subject of English - and made it fun."
Rachel Fenkhuber-Kuta


"Enjoyable and thought provoking. A very pleasant surprise. This book is a real gem---it has everything from mind-bending puzzles, humorous discussions about the use of the English language, and very valuable and practical thoughts about management, presenting ideas and leadership. The section on Interviews is a must read for anyone participates in the interview process either as interviewer or interviewee. I had my college-age daughter read it as she is in the process of trying to get internships. Royce imparts some great wisdom that helped her prepare for the interviews.

Parts of the book hit close to home (like my habit of using parentheses too much) and thanks to the author, I now have a list of words I need to eliminate from my vocabulary since I now know they are not words at all! If you are a puzzle lover you will be treated some mind benders you have probably never experienced. My average scrabble score has gone up a few points thanks to two very small but powerful words tucked away in the last chapter.

More than anything though, this is one of those books that you always will want to keep within arms length---on the coffee table, in the briefcase, or that someplace special where you spend time every day. No matter where you enter the book, there is some gem of an idea or whacky observation that will give you a good chuckle (I never stopped to think that a building could burn up or burn down and the result is the same). The breadth of the book is amazing. Actually, IMHO this is like the very precise thing I was looking for in the cacophony of books out there (that will be like nails scratching a chalkboard to the author). I am very gruntled with this book."


"I found this book very useful in many ways. There are many good ideas on how to communicate effectively in various situations.

First part of the book covers the basics of English language.
This part is very helpful in avoiding common mistakes in English

Second part covers very useful guidance on how to communicate effectively in high-state situations like presentations, selling ideas, teamwork etc. There is a chapter on romance as well!
(I wish I had this book during my college days.)

Walker's other book "Software Project Management - a Unified Framework" is a great reference for software professionals; this book is a great reference for anyone who would like to improve communication - from students to professionals.

Improving communication is considered a very boring topic and is often overlooked. Walker's writing style and inclusion of puzzles made this topic more enjoyable and thought provoking."
Saif Islam

About the Book

Eureka! Discover the Hidden Power of the English Language illuminates the communications power as well as the amusement potential of the English language. Instead of highlighting all the hairball rules of English, Walker Royce leads us through a mentally invigorating workout of English usage, good and bad. Provocative insights into high-stakes communications like speaking, coaching, selling, interviewing, and even romance are mixed with English language trivia, humorous anecdotes, and intriguing puzzles.

Walker Royce is an author, a mentor, and a thought leader brimming with insight and ideas. He has coached business leaders and professional teams in high-stakes innovations for more than 30 years. He knows what it takes to connect with audiences and individuals, and he has a rare knack for observing communications styles. Deep down he’s a language nut, a puzzle whiz, and an enthusiastic coach.

Key features of Eureka!

  • Eye-opening treatments of high-stakes situations, including selling, coaching, interviewing, public speaking, and romancing

  • A whirlwind tour of the more powerful and entertaining elements of our language such as synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, homophones, puns, jargon, anagrams, palindromes, and oxymorons

  • A handy guide to the most common abuses and misusage patterns of English.

  • More than 50 one-of-a-kind puzzles that contort English in deviously clever ways to test your observation skills and demonstrate the power of teamwork and the value of diversity of thought

  • A professional workshop for establishing a leadership team with a collaborative culture based on high trust and effective communication presented as a detailed case study.

  • A concise vision for an adolescent leadership camp that includes communication workshops as part of its 3-4 week curriculum.


Table of Contents




1. The ABCs of English


Parts of Speech
Composition and Style


2. The Beauty of the Beast


Words Within Words and Words Among Words
Homonyms, Homophones, and Heteronyms
Puns and Malapropisms


3. Abuse, Misuse, and Obtuse Use of English


Impotent Adverbs
Punctuation Abuse
Misusing or Misspelling Words
Abusing Me, Myself, and I
Using Words that are Not Words
Mispronouncing Words
The Department of Redundancy Department
Relative Absolutes
Double Negatives


4. Synchronize With Your Audience


Adjust to Your Context
Assertiveness and Responsiveness
Diversity and Versatility
One-on-One Communications
Trusted Advisors


5. Presentations: Accuracy and Precision


Avoid Information Overload
Prevent Oral Tedium


6. Selling an Idea


Value-Based Selling
Selling Is Not About Winning
A Self-Assessment


7. Interviews


Some Ideas for Interviewers
Some Ideas for Interviewees


8. Is English a Romance Language?


A Tale of Two Poems
My 10 Favorite Words
My 10 Un-Favorite Words


Appendix A. A Team Dynamics Workshop


Workshop Agenda, Material, and Results
Team Principles


Appendix B. A Working-Out-Values Camp


Course Syllabus
Camp Infrastructure


Appendix C. Exercising Observation Skills


Eureka Puzzles
Sequence Puzzles
Relative-Antonym-Synonym-Homophone (RASH) Puzzles
Games and Other Mental Exercises
Puzzle Hints





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