What in the Word? Wordplay, Word Lore, and Answers to Your Peskiest Questions about Language (Harvest Original)

3.78 avg rating
( 59 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780156031974: What in the Word? Wordplay, Word Lore, and Answers to Your Peskiest Questions about Language (Harvest Original)

Are you so sure about "assure," "ensure," and "insure" ? Can you determine whether a knob of butter is equivalent to a lump or a pat or a scosh? Can you say which word in the English language has the most definitions, or who put the H in Jesus H. Christ?

If you can't, be assured that Charles Harrington Elster, author of several well-loved works on language, can-and does in his latest book, a delightfully designed compendium of the most common, interesting, and entertaining conundrums in our language. Drawing upon esoteric sources and his own inimitable expertise, Elster uses a lively question-and-answer format to cover a variety of topics-word and phrase origins, slang, style, usage, punctuation, and pronunciation. Every chapter features original brainteasers, challenging puzzles, and a trove of literary trivia.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Back Cover:

Are you so sure about the plural of "octopus" or the difference between "i.e." and "e.g."? Do you know which word in the English language has the most definitions, or who put the H in Jesus H. Christ?

If you don't, be assured that Charles Harrington Elster does, and he tells all in this entertaining collection of the most interesting conundrums in our language. Using esoteric sources and his own inimitable expertise, Elster covers a variety of topics including word and phrase origins, slang, style, usage, punctuation, and pronunciation. Every chapter features original brainteasers, challenging puzzles, and a trove of literary trivia, so be prepared to play while you read.

"Delightfully funny and informative. Every page is filled with amazing and amusing facts about our quirky language. The Wordbook of the Year!"--Sol Steinmetz, coauthor of Meshuggenary: Celebrating the World of Yiddish

"This book is at once authoritative and lively. Elster knows how to have fun."--Bryan A. Garner, author of Garner's Modern American Usage

"A cornucopia of linguistic fun. Fill your horn!"--Anu Garg, creator of wordsmith.org

Charles Harrington Elster is a writer, broadcaster, and logophile--a lover of words. He is the author of several books and has been a guest columnist on language for the Boston Globe and the New York Times Magazine. He lives in San Diego.

About the Author:

CHARLES HARRINGTON ELSTER is a writer, broadcaster, and logophile--a lover of words. He is the author of numerous books on language, including The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations, Verbal Advantage, There's a Word for It, and, most recently, The Accidents of Style: Good Advice on How Not to Write Badly. He lives in San Diego.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Elster, Charles Harrington
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P (2005)
ISBN 10: 0156031973 ISBN 13: 9780156031974
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Reuseabook
(Stroud, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. This book is in Brand New condition. Bookseller Inventory # CHL2165466

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
4.72
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 1.75
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Elster, Charles Harrington
ISBN 10: 0156031973 ISBN 13: 9780156031974
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. Item doesn't include CD/DVD. Bookseller Inventory # 1121421

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.49
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.07
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Charles Harrington Elster
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, United States (2005)
ISBN 10: 0156031973 ISBN 13: 9780156031974
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Are you so sure about assure, ensure, and insure ? Can you determine whether a knob of butter is equivalent to a lump or a pat or a scosh? Can you say which word in the English language has the most definitions, or who put the H in Jesus H. Christ? If you can t, be assured that Charles Harrington Elster, author of several well-loved works on language, can-and does in his latest book, a delightfully designed compendium of the most common, interesting, and entertaining conundrums in our language. Drawing upon esoteric sources and his own inimitable expertise, Elster uses a lively question-and-answer format to cover a variety of topics-word and phrase origins, slang, style, usage, punctuation, and pronunciation. Every chapter features original brainteasers, challenging puzzles, and a trove of literary trivia. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780156031974

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
11.69
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Elster, Charles Harrington
Published by HOUGHTON MIFFLIN (2005)
ISBN 10: 0156031973 ISBN 13: 9780156031974
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, 2005. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IQ-9780156031974

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.93
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.07
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Charles Harrington Elster
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, United States (2005)
ISBN 10: 0156031973 ISBN 13: 9780156031974
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Are you so sure about assure, ensure, and insure ? Can you determine whether a knob of butter is equivalent to a lump or a pat or a scosh? Can you say which word in the English language has the most definitions, or who put the H in Jesus H. Christ? If you can t, be assured that Charles Harrington Elster, author of several well-loved works on language, can-and does in his latest book, a delightfully designed compendium of the most common, interesting, and entertaining conundrums in our language. Drawing upon esoteric sources and his own inimitable expertise, Elster uses a lively question-and-answer format to cover a variety of topics-word and phrase origins, slang, style, usage, punctuation, and pronunciation. Every chapter features original brainteasers, challenging puzzles, and a trove of literary trivia. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780156031974

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12.11
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Elster, Charles Harrington
Published by Harvest Books
ISBN 10: 0156031973 ISBN 13: 9780156031974
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Lakeside Books
(Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harvest Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0156031973 BRAND NEW, GIFT QUALITY! NOT OVERSTOCKS OR MARKED UP REMAINDERS! DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER!|0.67. Bookseller Inventory # OTF-Y-9780156031974

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.07
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.07
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Elster, Charles Harrington
Published by Harvest Books (2017)
ISBN 10: 0156031973 ISBN 13: 9780156031974
New Paperback Quantity Available: 11
Print on Demand
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harvest Books, 2017. Paperback. Book Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # 0156031973

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
11.48
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.30
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Charles Harrington Elster
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P
ISBN 10: 0156031973 ISBN 13: 9780156031974
New Paperback Quantity Available: 20
Seller
BuySomeBooks
(Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 304 pages. Dimensions: 7.7in. x 5.2in. x 0.5in.Are you so sure about assure, ensure, and insure Can you determine whether a knob of butter is equivalent to a lump or a pat or a scosh Can you say which word in the English language has the most definitions, or who put the H in Jesus H. ChristIf you cant, be assured that Charles Harrington Elster, author of several well-loved works on language, can-and does in his latest book, a delightfully designed compendium of the most common, interesting, and entertaining conundrums in our language. Drawing upon esoteric sources and his own inimitable expertise, Elster uses a lively question-and-answer format to cover a variety of topics-word and phrase origins, slang, style, usage, punctuation, and pronunciation. Every chapter features original brainteasers, challenging puzzles, and a trove of literary trivia. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780156031974

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
11.38
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.04
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Elster, Charles Harrington
Published by Mariner Books (2005)
ISBN 10: 0156031973 ISBN 13: 9780156031974
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Mariner Books, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # INGM9780156031974

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12.60
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.07
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Elster, Charles Harrington
Published by HOUGHTON MIFFLIN (2005)
ISBN 10: 0156031973 ISBN 13: 9780156031974
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HOUGHTON MIFFLIN, 2005. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Delivered from our UK warehouse in 3 to 5 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IQ-9780156031974

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.58
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 9
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book