Table of contents for Much ado about English : up and down the bizarre byways of a fascinating language / Richard Watson Todd.

Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog.

Note: Contents data are machine generated based on pre-publication provided by the publisher. Contents may have variations from the printed book or be incomplete or contain other coding.

Introduction 1 
Part I Origins 
How old is an earthling? 5 
Dates of first use, origins of words 
The Welsh penguin 9 
Borrowed words 
Wanted: A computer, female, age 18-25 13 
Neologisms, words with changed meanings 
Who is that word? 15 
Words and idioms derived from people's names 
Cornflakes¼ or cornflakes? 17 
Trademark words, company names 
The makings of fashionable language 20 
Shakespearean origins 
The origin of phrases 22 
Etymology of idioms 
Part II Pronunciation and Spelling 
Mispellings (sic) 27 
Wrongly spelt words 
Why is 'colonel' pronounced 'kernel'? 30 
Pronunciation, homographs 
Sounds good to me 33 
Onomatopoeia, most beautiful words, worst-sounding words 
A cheerful but challenging chapter 35 
Alliteration, tongue-twisters 
Part III Usage 
The of to in 39 
Common words, Basic English 
Divided by a common language 42 
British and American English 
TCIWR: This Chapter Is Worth Reading 45 
Abbreviations, shortened words, acronyms, initialisms 
A chapter a day keeps the word blues away 48 
Proverbs, perverbs 
The mother of all chapters 51 
A chapter of epidemic proportions 53 
Doing the horizontal polka! 55 
Euphemisms, dyslogisms 
One part in a processed tree carcass 57 
Politically correct language 
God save the baked bean 60 
Slang, Cockney rhyming slang 
Part IV Meanings 
Ostrobogulous words 65 
Strange and wondrous words 
What is a loquacious agnostic? 68 
She slept like a hot knife through butter 70 
Metaphors, mixed metaphors 
Part V Peculiarities 
This chapter is sound - all sound 75 
Figures of speech 
Two dog-dog 78 
The upside-down ox 83 
The alphabet, alphabet words, frequencies of letters 
The iouae sang euouae 86 
Brrrr! Shhhh! 89 
Double letters, triple letters 
A tip-top higgledy-piggledy hodge-podge 91 
Reduplicated words, paired words 
A collective of nouns 93 
Collective nouns 
Part VI Illogicalities 
Squad helps dog bite victim 96 
Illogicalities, ambiguous sentences, garden path sentences 
This vacuum cleaner really sucks 99 
Self-contradictory sentences, autoantonyms 
A seriously funny chapter 102 
Redundancies in close proximity 104 
Pleonasms, redundant language, tautologies 
There ain't never been no better chapter 107 
Double negatives 
Part VII Language Play 
A good pun is its own reword 113 
Puns, riddles 
"We're out of whisky," Tom said dispiritedly 116 
Tom Swifties 
Tips of the slung 119 
The use of the oracular tongue 122 
Malapropisms, easily confused words, Colemanballs, mondegreens 
Ailihphilia 127 
Palindromes, word-unit palindromes, palindromic squares 
A miscellany of curiosities 131 
Index 135 
About the author 140 

Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:

English language -- Etymology.
English language -- Humor.
English language -- Usage.
English language -- History.