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7 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I've bought several of Michael Quinion's books and subscribe to his weekly newsletter. I wasn't surprised, therefore, to find I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It explains what (for example) "bulls and bears" on the stoke exchange, and "fair cop" in the movies means, rather than a guide to spelling.
Published on 9 Oct 2009 by James Renals

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11 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Non-answers to questions
In this book, as in the author's previous book, Port Out, Starboard Home the answer to many (most?) of the questions is "I don't know." I found it irritating to continually read about hypotheses that turned out to be wrong, only to come up with a blank in the end. I don't buy linguistic works to plough through people's guesswork. Either say outright "Nobody knows," and...
Published on 20 Aug 2009 by Lewis Jones


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 9 Oct 2009
By 
James Renals (London (not the one in CT or ON)) - See all my reviews
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I've bought several of Michael Quinion's books and subscribe to his weekly newsletter. I wasn't surprised, therefore, to find I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It explains what (for example) "bulls and bears" on the stoke exchange, and "fair cop" in the movies means, rather than a guide to spelling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun read, 12 April 2010
A quick and fun read. I laughed aloud at a number of points - and actually learned a bit about some words and phrases along the way. Entertaining and recommended.

Downside: a number of queries about meanings or origins had a response that devolved to the equivalent of, "Don't know."

Re: Amazon.uk. Ordering, shipping and receipt were easy and quick. It also seems Amazon maintains a global sign-on that helps.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For lovers of words, 9 Oct 2009
By 
Iain S. Palin (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
Anyone interested in our language and where our words and usage come from should read Michael Quinion. He is entertaining and impressively thorough, and not only does he write books he has a fascinating website "World Wide Words" and even a free e-newsletter.
This book is a collection of some of the queries that have been sent in to him for that newsletter. For most of us it isn't something to sit and read through start-to-finish, rather something to dip into for a few minutes at a time - but those minutes will be well spent. You'll learn a lot, and enjoy yourself at the same time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Looking forward to receiving this one, 12 Jun 2014
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Looking forward to receiving this one which I have bought for a birthday present for my daughter in law. Thanks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, properly researched, 29 May 2013
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This review is from: Why is Q Always Followed by U?: Word-Perfect Answers to the Most-Asked Questions About Language (Paperback)
Another interesting book from Michael Quinion on word & phrase origins.

The difference to many other books on the subject is that you know the entries are properly researched.

Seek out Michael Quinion's other books, and visit his website <www.worldwidewords.org> where you can find a search function if there are any etymologies you'd like to check.

I'd also recommend subscribing to his weekly newsletter, which you can do via the website.

The 2-star review here 'Non-answers to questions' completely misses the point. My reply to that review was:
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I don't buy linguistic works to plough through..." ... bunkum, hearsay and under-researched 'facts & trivia' that appear to be copied from e-mail chains. I want to read books on word and phrase history that provide investigations and give full explanations.

It doesn't matter if we are yet to find the true etymology of a word or phrase; I'm more than pleased to see claptrap from other books disproved.
=====
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a present but kept it myself, 6 July 2009
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Reading this book will make anyone feel like a 'know it all'. V interesting and well written. Highly enjoyable!
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11 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Non-answers to questions, 20 Aug 2009
By 
Lewis Jones (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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In this book, as in the author's previous book, Port Out, Starboard Home the answer to many (most?) of the questions is "I don't know." I found it irritating to continually read about hypotheses that turned out to be wrong, only to come up with a blank in the end. I don't buy linguistic works to plough through people's guesswork. Either say outright "Nobody knows," and leave it at that, or (better) don't include the item in the book at all. I know there are those who think that faulty legends and false etymologies are "interesting." In fact, they display a lack of critical thought, and a misunderstanding of the necessity for evidence.
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