CRAZY ENGLISH: The Ultimate Joy Ride Through Our Language by Richard Lederer

CRAZY ENGLISH: The Ultimate Joy Ride Through Our Language

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lederer, a New Hampshire schoolteacher and ""Grammar Grappler"" columnist for Writer's Digest, loves the language and here pays humorous honor to its oddities and beauties, from the longest word (a 1,913-lettered amino acid) to why ""-ash"" verbs (bash, clash, gash, etc.) invariably define violent actions (the answer lies in onomatopoetics). There's much whimsy here--why, Lederer wonders, do we say ""a near miss"" when we mean ""a near hit?""; why, if the plural of mouse is mice, isn't the plural of henhouse, ""henhice""?--and some useful information, too--a dictionary of ""nyms"" (e.g., antonym, ""A part of the body used as a verb: to toe the line""), a list of phobias (""if you despise eating spinach or broccoli, you are a lachanophobe""). Plenty of fun, then, for all wordsmiths and word-fanciers; and you get to read about the non-English-speaking foreign couple who named their newborn after ""the most beautiful English world they had ever heard"": diarrhea.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster