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A Steroid Hit The Earth Paperback – 3 Aug 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Portico (3 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190603270X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906032708
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 602,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'A Steroid Hit the Earth is full of linguistic delights and treasures. Fantastic.' David Crystal

About the Author

Martin Toseland is a writer and editor, having worked for both Penguin and HarperColllins. He is an authority on language-related subjects.


Customer Reviews

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By Androo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a nice little hardback with lots of pages, so it feels 'dense' and heavy, unlike some of the tenuous 'gift' books you see all over the place these days.
There are plenty of pages to keep you amused, though I have to admit I read it all in one sitting. And I laughed out loud for much of that time. There are some very funny misprints. And some that I didn't find at all funny, but that's par for the course.
It's divided into sections, with some editorial stuff, but thankfully not too much.
My favourite bit is the section on corrections, some of which are funnier than the misprints were to start with.
My reservation with this book is that unlike, say, the 'Boobs' series of books, the misprints in here are not photographs of the original cuttings, just the misprints typed out. To me that takes something away, makes it seem less authentic. There's always the possibility that they're embellished, or even made up. Probably not of course, but there's nothing like seeing the original.
And I have seen some of these misprints before in other books.
So, it's not the best of its type, but it is pretty good. And it's so nicely printed and packaged that it will inevitably make a great stocking filler, and one that's better than most gift books of this ilk.
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Format: Hardcover
Humorous books such as this are either brilliant or fall flat. This one is brilliant. It doesn't include my two favourite errors - the notorious misprint from the Times in 1882 or the early sixties headline "Meat Shortage - MP's Attack Minister" but it contains enough mistakes to keep the reader laughing from first page to last.

Many mistakes consist of missing a letter from a word thus making the finished piece nonsensical. These include firemen turning their noses (hoses), soldiers firing rubber pullets (bullets) and the police chasing a "getaway cat"(car) for more than forty miles. Others are inadvertent constructions such as the accident caused "as the dead man was crossing the intersection" which reminded me of the accurate report of a similar accident in a local newspaper in which the dead man's last words before crossing were "I think we can make it". Some could cause offence if they weren't so amusing including the widow who "visited the cemetery where her husband was buried on a number of occasions." On the other hand in 1838 the Rev. J W Morris was not amused when accosted by various ladies for having been reported as having proposed a tax on wives (wines).

Mistakes in newspapers are to be expected, more so in the days of hot print than now when spell checking computers correct all errors automatically - don't they? Not where grammar is concerned. The apostrophe seems to fool people most of the time, especially where it and it's are concerned. Books should be exempt from errors although Sir Henry H Johnston made it to print with, "The Nolotic race is remarkable for the disproportionately long legs of their men and women. They extend on the eastern side of the Nile right down into the Uganda Protectorate.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
quite often with this sort of collection of amusing quotes/anecdotes, I find my 'laughter button' becoming more insensitive as I read on through bits here and there [thence eventually from start to finish]. But with this, I had no such diminution; - 90% of it made me giggle or laugh, and some of it was hilarious. Dispatch and delivery were both superb too.
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Format: Paperback
I have a fairly substantial collection of books of a similar ilk compiled by the likes of Denys Parsons, Fritz Spiegl and under the Private Eye banner. Finding typographical errors that 'work' is a skill and, as Speigl once said, an appreciation for the English language. Typos on their own are not necessarily funny - there has to be a certain level of irony or double entendre at work. This tome compares well with these classics of the genre and, in many ways, is superior.

The book covers a wide time period. While, as you'll see mentioned on the rear cover, it mentions biblical works from the 17th and 18th Centuries, the book seems to get the bulk of its material from the 1960s to the present day. This appears to be a compilation of the best 'mistakes' of the previous few decades rather than, say, some typos that were spotted in the last year.

It covers a wide range of sources, from local press to foreign menus. Again, this implies a dedication to the craft, rather than merely going over old ground. It has been well put together.

The book is divided in to sections with occasional smaller section dedicated to a more specific area of errors, so, for example, 'Church & Religion' features a variety of typos pertaining to that area, while a smaller section 'holy typos' is specifically about the aforementioned biblical errors. The wide range of areas targeted assure that there is something for everybody.

Overall this is a very funny books, nearly 200 pages long with (generally) 6 typos per page. It can be read chapter by chapter (each section has an introduction), or just dived into at will. The strength of this style of book is that even if you don't find an entry amusing, there are more on the same page that will raise a smile.
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