Red Herrings and White Elephants Hardcover – 8 Oct 2004
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"Amusing and informative...[takes] you on a trip through the most fascinating and richest regions of the English language."--Knutsford Guardian (UK) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Albert Jack is a writer and researcher in pop culture whose favourite phrase is 'doolally'. He is 39 years old and has two children.
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Top Customer Reviews
Quinion's is almost certainly the more accurate and learned. But it's so dull. His approach tends to be to dismiss the wonderful folk tales around words and phrases in a very superior way before confessing he doesn't really have a better explanation.
Jack doesn't let the facts get in the way of a good tale and he presents a much more entertaining read.
The choice is simple - if you want a few funny tall tales to entertain a group of mates in the pub, buy Jack. If you want to be the lonely pedant in the corner muttering "well that's not strictly accurate" get a copy of Quinion.
By the author's own admission this book was put together simply to cash in on the Christmas/casual purchase market, and it shows in its sloppy research. If you, or your gift-recipient, are genuinely interested in the history of words and phrases, I would suggest Michael Quinion's far superior 'Port Out, Starboard Home'. It may not be piled high by the tills in your local bookshop, but you'll be well rewarded for seeking it out.
As the title suggests it has the origins of all those well known sayings and you will find yourself saying out loud "oh wow, that's where that comes from". If you like things that are a little different you will really enjoy this book.
We keep it in the lounge and the amount of guests that pick it up and can't put it down is quite funny.
An absolute must have!
I have lent this book to many other people who have equally enjoyed it. Highly recommended. I totally disagree with the comments made by the previous reviewer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got talking to some friends about where these old phrases come from and this got me interested in finding out more. I have enjoyed dipping in and out of this book. Read morePublished 3 months ago by R. Wilcox
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