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- If we say one mouse and two mice, why don't we say one house and two hice? - How did rhinoceros come to have four possible plurals? And (silly) nine different meanings? - Would you talk about an 'ambush of tigers' or a 'shrewdness of apes?' How about an 'absence of waiters?' - What do 'zenzizenzizenzic' and 'tatterdemalion' mean? English is the world language - it is used in 115 countries, and around 70 percent of webpages are in English. But English is also complex and unpredictable. Its massive range and wealth of quirks make it fascinating and surprising to native speakers and newcomers alike. Richard Watson Todd's Much Ado About English: Up and Down the Bizarre Byways of a Fascinating Language takes readers on an entertaining journey through the peculiarities, illogicalities and sheer charm of the English language, wandering down the language's idiosyncratic and surprising byways. Richard Watson Todd considers everything from erratic spelling to unexpected uses, where words have come from and how they have changed, and the myriad ways we use this flexible tongue. From onomatopeia to cliches, politically correct language to Cockney rhyming slang, metaphors and oxymorons, here is a light-hearted and engaging view of a mother tongue.
Richard Watson Todd graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in Accounting & Finance before realizing the career was not for him. After a new course and several years working abroad, Watson Todd received a Master_s degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He returned to Thailand where he has been ever since. He has consulted to both the World Bank and the Thai Ministry of Education and is head of the Centre for Research at the School of Liberal Arts at King Mongkut_s University of Technology Thonburi in Bangkok. He is the author of several books, a regular contributor to the Bangkok Post and runs the Big Applied Linguistics Database. Watson Todd lives in Thailand.