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Take Our Word For It Issue 140  Melanie Crowley
 Nov 08, 2001 22:44 PST 
Take Our Word For It Issue 140

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Just a day late...!

**This Week's Issue**

In Spotlight, we discuss some gems

In Words to the Wise,we bring you

red letter day

Farsi vs. Persian


and pickle

In Curmudgeons' Corner a guestmudgeon complains about what he likes more

In Sez You... we hear from readers about collective nouns; mondegreens;
grim reaper; wl- words; and those in doubt.

In Laughing Stock we wonder how Mr. Bing could fit in there

**Newsletter-Only Book Reviews**

"Cat Got Your Tongue? The Real Meaning Behind Everyday Sayings" by
Daniel J. Porter

This is a cute little book, printed in large type, and clearly written
for a young audience. Mr. Porter does a good job of explaining the
background behind phrases like "happy as a clam" and "don't look a gift
horse in the mouth". His explanations are written in simple, clear
language that most children will understand. He provides meanings and
general derivations of each phrase. While learning about phrases and
cliches, children can also learn a little bit about cultural history
with this book. We recommend it as a stocking stuffer or holiday gift
for the young logophile in your family. It will be available through
our book store.

"Loose Cannons, Red Herrings, and Other Lost Metaphors" by Robert

Mr. Claiborne clearly did quite a bit of research for this book. He's
pretty good about rooting out spurious etymologies (like "cold enough to
freeze the balls off a brass monkey), and he's quite good with word
histories that are universally agreed upon by most etymologists. He gets
a few wrong (like "cloud nine"), but, then, everyone makes mistakes, and
we don't begrudge Mr. Claiborne a few. The book is presented in
reference form, with entries in alphabetical order. He addresses some
words and phrases that are difficult to find discussed elsewhere. He
doesn't always give a lot of details on origins like dates and early
forms, but he gives enough information to satisfy the curiosity of most.
We recommend this book to all of our readers as an addition to your
etymological library.

**Laughing Stock**

We encourage you to send us funny clippings or e-mails that you run
across, because if we use yours in Laughing Stock, you will win a $10
gift certificate to Amazon.com! This week's issue of TOWFI contains a
winning entry in Laughing Stock. Thanks to Chandra McCann!


(We're running this section, from last week's newsletter.) Our
tax-exempt charity status determination (whew!) by the IRS has been
delayed. Unfortunately, that means any donations made to us this year
by U.S. citizens are not tax-exempt. If you have made a donation to
TOWFI/TIERE in the last year and would like it refunded because it is
not tax-exempt, please let us know as soon as possible. This delay in
status in no way affects how donations to TIERE will be used (except
those that are refunded, of course!).

We will still be sending donors the TOWFI book mark. We underestimated
the time and man/womanpower involved in preparing them and sending them,
so if you have not yet received yours, please be patient with us. We
plan to get a batch out this weekend.

Until next time,
Take Our Word For It!
Melanie and Mike

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