Everything You Know About English Is Wrong

I do not understand how else to inform you this...everything you recognize approximately English is wrong.

"If you like language and the unvarnished fact, you are going to love every thing you recognize approximately English is inaccurate. you should have enjoyable simply because his energetic, comedic, skeptical voice will communicate to you from the pages of his word-bethumped book."
-Richard Lederer, writer of Anguished English, Get Thee to a Punnery, and observe Wizard

Now that you just comprehend, it is time to, good, chunk the mummy tongue. William Brohaugh, former editor of Writer's Digest, may be your journey consultant in this pleasant trip during the English language, declaring the entire misconceptions approximately our wonderful-and splendidly confusing-native tongue. Tackling phrases, letters, grammar and principles, no sacred cow continues to be untipped as Brohaugh finds such interesting and irreverent shockers as:

- when you figuratively climb the partitions, you're agitated/frustrated/crazy. should you actually climb the partitions, you're Spiderman.

- "Biting the mum Tongue": English doesn't come from England.

- The be aware "queue" is the poster baby of an English spelling rule so dominant we will name it a dominatrix rule: "U needs to stick with Q! Slave!"

- loads of our vocabulary comes from the classical languages-clearly, Greece, and never Grease, is the observe, is the observe, is the word.

-Emoticons: disagreeable punctuational predictions

"Better plotted than a word list, extra riveting than a word list, extra filmable than a Harry Potter index-and that is simply Brohaugh's footsnorts... Imean, feetsnotes...umfeetsneets?...good gravy I'mglad I'mjust a cartoonist."
-John Caldwell, one in all Mad magazine's ordinary Gang of Idiots

This ebook promises you will by no means examine the English language a similar approach again-if you write, learn or converse it, it simply ain't attainable to stay with no this tell-all consultant. ("Ain't," by the way, isn't really a foul word.)

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Qxp:Between You _ I internals. qxd 4/2/08 every little thing you recognize approximately English is incorrect 5:06 PM 7 the observe histor, which had such meanings as “knowledge,” “learning,” and . . . um . . . “wise guy. ” So, the clever guy instructed . . . his tale. BONFIRE The eighteenth-century wordmaster used to be now not constantly correct. Bonfire: “a fireplace made for a few publick reason behind triumph or get together. ” So writes the estimable Dr. Samuel Johnson in 1755’s Dictionary of the English Language. and since Johnson used to be writing concerning the English language, he after all (bien sur! ) imposed a few French origins right into a genealogically constant local English notice: bonfire. -Fire capability, good, “fire. ” Bon-, Dr. Johnson espouses, is bon—“good,” in French. good, that’s all good and bon, other than that during this example bon is local English for “bone. ” no longer “good-fire,” yet “bone-fire. ” together with stay human bones. Joan of Arc and supportive bones died in a bonefire. It’s this grisly beginning of the notice that leads a few humans to hang to Dr. Johnson’s etymology. yet that, because the editors of The MerriamWebster New booklet of note Histories argue, doesn’t make etymological feel. Marrying French and local English is uncommon, and French’s bon have been borrowed into English as boon (e. g. , “boon companion”), and never bon. regardless of Dr. Johnson’s improper rivalry, bonfire is a foul be aware. No bons approximately it. QUICKSILVER dossier lower than “Silver, quickly (and hello Ho! )”: imagine speedy: quicksilver isn't really quickly. web page 7 EverythingYouKnowAboutEnglish_int. qxp:Between You _ I internals. qxd eight 4/2/08 invoice Brohaugh In a tragic irony of notice histories, the notice quicksilver looks on its deathbed, at risk of being completely displaced and buried through the synonymous observe mercury. Quicksilver/mercury is an strange steel in that it exists in liquid shape at room temperature (and it bulges in previous thermometers at greater-than-room temperature). parents like me be mindful fiddling with globules of quicksilver from damaged thermometers as teenagers, looking at the blobs race round plates that we tilted to induce the blobs on. We have been interested because the globules broke up into smaller blobs and coalesced back after they rammed into one another like residing unicellular creatures. (Given glossy matters approximately mercury poisoning, today’s teenagers will most probably by no means back event such magnificent Mr. Wizard moments. ) The disappointment within the dying of quicksilver lies in part in wasting the innate poetry of the notice. Mercury is mildly fascinating due to its mythological connections (Mercury the planet racing round the sunlight in low orbit was once named after the fast Roman god who now has been relegated to advertisement flower delivery). attention-grabbing, even though bland in comparison with evocative and important quicksilver. I’m satisfied to claim that parts of this poetry could be retained notwithstanding deeply hidden in hydrargyrum, quicksilver’s technical identify and the resource for HG at the Periodical desk of the weather. You’ve already noticed the Greek root hydra- during this technical identify, which accurately skill “water silver. ” but, the first and excruciating irony of the dying of quicksilver arises from the unique which means of quickly.

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