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Why is Q Always Followed by U?: Word-Perfect Answers to the Most-Asked Questions About Language Paperback – 28 Oct 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (28 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141039248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141039244
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 16.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 631,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'He tracks down a phrase and pins it down with a wit as sharp as a tack' Metro 'Like being drawn into a great detective story, full of red herrings and bogus alibis' Mail on Sunday 'A marvellous and original book, erudition without tears' Spectator --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Michael Quinion, author of the bestselling Port Out, Starboard Home, has always been fascinated by language. His lexophilia really began in earnest in 1991, when, realising so many new words were missing from the Oxford English Dictionary, he started sending examples of them to the editors. He eventually became an official freelance reader and in the past sixteen years, he has sent in over 160,000 citations. Not satisfied with merely helping the OED, Michael Quinion set up his own language website in 1997, worldwidewords.org. The site has become a huge success as people all over the world ask Michael to tease out the truth behind the quirks of our language.


Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Kindle Edition
The answers might be word-perfect (as the subtitle claims) in as much as there aren't any grammatical mistakes, but not in the sense of there being definitive answers - which to me makes the title misleading. If you are interested in conjecture about the meaning of words and sayings, you might like this book, but don't expect many clear-cut explanations. By far the commonest theme is 'Nobody really knows but...'

To be fair I've mildly enjoyed dipping into it - but I'm glad it was given to me by a friend rather than my forking out good money for it.
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