The Revenge of Anguished English: More Accidental Assaults Upon Our Language
Richard Lederer. St. Martin's Press, $22.95 (174pp) ISBN 978-0-312-33493-2
Fourth in the Anguished English series (The Bride of Anguished English, More Anguished English, etc.), Lederer's newest collection of grammatical goofs will illicit laughs from start to finish. Cataloguing the hilarious ways in which people mangle the English language, Lederer offers hundreds of new linguistic blunders, from infamous ""Bushisms"" to poorly worded newspaper headlines. Children, in early experiments with language and logic, utter some of the funniest foul-ups. For example, as a mother desperately pounds catsup out of a bottle, her four-year-old answers the phone and says, ""Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle."" In another instance, a mother asks her child what she learned on the first day of school, and the child's reply is: ""Not enough. They say I have to go back tomorrow."" In addition to these ""kiddisms,"" the book touches upon more adult humor, as in a headline that reads: ""Soviet Virgin Lands Short of Goal Again."" Complete with ridiculously obvious product warnings, church bulletin bloopers and celebrities caught saying the wrong things, this book celebrates the English language by allowing readers to laugh at others' amusing mistakes. 30 b&w line drawings.
Reviewed on: 04/04/2005