Where a Dobdob Meets a Dikdik
In this potted tour through the nooks and crannies of the English language, renowned etymologist Bill Casselman considers the difference between a petard and a queef, and explains why you might want to avoid a pilliwinks. From nautical slang to sporting cliche to 'words of exquisite rarity', his book – part-lexicon, part rumination – revels in the language's eccentric history.
Great Authors: Charles Dickens
Three DVD Set
Charles Dickens's own experiences bear comparison to those of some of his characters, and this BBC box set explores his colourful biography in a series of films. The three DVDs include a revealing drama-documentary examining the life of the author (played by Anton Lesser), a dramatized narration of A Christmas Carol and a 1999 adaptation of David Copperfield, the most autobiographical of his novels, starring Bob Hoskins and Daniel Radcliffe. 3 DVDs total duration 8 hrs 30 min.
Skyscrapers, Hemlines and the Eddie Murphy Rule
What is the difference between Murphy’s Law and Sod’s Law? Why is the Pooh-Pooh Theory implausible? Will we fall victim to the Skyscraper Index? In chapters on everything from politics and economics to scuba diving, Philip Gooden sets out informal laws, unwritten rules and theories, and reveals their origins, the people responsible and what they mean – unless they are as inexplicable as Herblock’s Law: If it’s good, they’ll stop making it.