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Who Said That First The Curious Origins of Common Words and Phrases
2013/8/19
Frank
Believe it or not, this is probably the first book to attempt to identify the original sources of some of the English language's most common expressions. We might think we know who first said famous for fifteen minutes, annus horribilis, the cold war and let them eat cake. It's a no brainer, you might say, but Max Cryer has a surprise or two in store for you. I kid you not. In this very readable book, he explores the origins of hundreds of expressions we use and hear every day – and comes up with some surprising findings. Never economical with the truth, he might just have the last laugh.
We learn what they didn’t say...We are not amused; Elementary my dear Watson; Let them eat cake; First catch your hare.
We learn that the Bible doesn’t mention Salome – or seven veils….
We learn about the origins of the infamous Mile High Club.

Written in Max Cryer’s delightfully witty style, WHO SAID THAT FIRST? is a wonderful book to dip into or settle a friendly dispute. Remember, good books are few and far between, and you get what you pay for. So buy this book, go ahead, make my day.

Max Cryer is a writer, entertainer and broadcaster, who hosts a weekly radio slot on Radio Live on the quirks of the English language. In a long career, he has been a schoolteacher, a compere and television host, as well as a performer on the opera stage in London and in cabaret in Las Vegas and Hollywood. Now a full-time writer living in Auckland, he has written many books, including LOVE ME TENDER, THE GODZONE DICTIONARY and HEAR OUR VOICES, WE ENTREAT

The inspiration for WHO SAID THAT FIRST?
During his years working in Hollywood, Max Cryer became acquainted with Lucille Ball – at the time the world’s most popular comedy actress. One day when they were having lunch together, Max complimented her on the amount of pleasure she gave, and Lucille replied: ‘I would be absolutely nothing without the writers. It’s all to do with the way things are written – they create the springboard for me.’
The remark stayed with Max for years, and he realised it was true. Very often the person who said an effective or memorable line didn’t actually create it. As Lucille Ball had said, the person in the background should have the credit – but was usually invisible.
This is was what motivated him to seek not just popular expressions – but who had actually originated them.
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The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast
2013/8/18
Frank
There are many reasons why you might need to learn a foreign language quickly. The author, a U.S. Army Green Beret, often travels to foreign countries on short notice and needs to be able to communicate with military and government officials, many of who do not speak English. He tried all types of schools, classes, books and tapes, but none delivered what he needed when he needed it. So he developed his own method for learning foreign languages. It proved so effective for him and his fellow Green Berets that he decided to share his method with others who need to learn a language quickly. The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast is designed for people who have no interest in learning complicated rules of grammar. The author promises that his method will help anyone become functional in any language in seven days and proficient in 30. He's trimmed the fat, freeing your time for what's truly useful. Includes a day-by-day schedule, a handy workbook format and secret tips to help you master key elements quickly and easily
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2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings and Expressions
2013/8/8
Frank
Why do people "take 40 winks" and not 50...or 60, or 70? Did someone literally "let the cat out of the bag" at one point in time? Has anyone actually "gone on a wild goose chase"? Find out the answers to these questions and many more in this enormous collection, comprised of four bestselling titles: A Hog on Ice, Thereby Hangs a Tale, Heavens to Betsy! and Horsefeathers and Other Curious Words. Dr. Funk, editor-in-chief of the Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary Series, reveals the sometimes surprising, often amusing, and always fascinating roots of more than 2,000 vernacular words and expressions. From "kangaroo court" to "one-horse town", from "face the music" to "hocus-pocus," it's an entertaining linguistic journey.
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