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Ever Wonder Why? Mass Market Paperback – November 24, 1991

4.3 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

I got lost in this book for hours. There are answers to questions I didn't even know to ask--and they're all fascinating. This book holds the kind of fun and unique facts that will impress and amaze your friends. Do you know why the sea is salty? Why $ means dollars? Why Swiss cheese has holes? Why prostitutes are called "hookers"? Why tennis balls are fuzzy?

Intrigued? I was. Now you'll have to buy this book to discover the answers. . . .

--Cassie Nylen, Copy Assistant

From the Inside Flap

Everyone knows that...donuts have holes...we clink glasses before saying a toast...golfers yell "fore!" before teeing off...we nod our heads yes and shake our heads no...But how many of us know why? You'll learn the answers and a whole lot more in this fun and fact-filled almanac. And all you have to do is ask WHY?!
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett; Reprint edition (November 24, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449147460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449147467
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.4 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I was first given this book as a gift, I was quite excited. I am a trivia buff and the questions being answered in the book were really fun subjects. As I read, however, I quickly became suspicious. Why didn't the author allow virtually any room for multiple explanations of the origins of phrases and customs? How could he possibly have done the research required to answer all these questions thoroughly? Why did he seem to answer almost all questions with such certainty, even those with a brief explanation?
Doing some research of my own on a few questions (why is sidespin in pool called English, for example) and found that the author is often just passing on apocrophyl stories and urban legends. It seems as though mostly he researched perhaps one or two sources to answer each question.
Since getting to the bottom of urban legends and myths are what caused me to get so interested in trivia in the first place, I found this book a real letdown.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Smith answers a lot of questions that we forget to ask, like why is horse meat considered inedible (it is associated with pagan sacrifice, he says). There are some gems like why do we shake hands -- yes, its a gesture that we do not bear arms, but did you know the shaking was to shake out any concealed knives up the sleeve?
However, I dont know if he is very good on science. He says the sky is blue because the atmosphere scatters the blue light more than any other part of the spectrum, but then he says that sunsets are red because they scatter red light less than other colors. Not consistent, obviously.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book really is great! I have never before had a book that every single member of my family actually fights over!! My little brother, my big sister, my mom, and my dad:every single one of us loves this book! It has taught me so many great facts! I even was awarded a free bottle of champagne on an airplane recently thanks to this book: a woman had a nose bleed the whole flight and this book explained how nose bleeds can be reduced or stopped by putting an ice pack on the back of your neck, and guess what it worked!! On top of that, once we reached our destination, all the people in our tour group would beg me to read excerpts of this book to them and the people in our tour group came from all over the world, from England to Gautemala- almost every single one of them wanted to purchase this book by the end of our trip! If you are considering purchasing this book..do it! I promise you will not regret it-this book is way too great to pass up!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a book that will help conversation. When people sneeze, I explain why we say "Bless you!" I explain how Halloween was named. Great book to share read with. Just a fun book to have. It also makes a great bathroom reader.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book! If you are a teacher, these are great items that you can tie into your lessons or present randomly to the kids to keep them from snoozin! I thought the topics were diverse and I couldn't put it down. Small, manageable, interesting, and thorough enough for my entertainment needs. Great selection of "why" topics.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book is really almost pocket sized, but it's a good, short read! I found it to be highly entertaining. It shipped to me brand new and extremely fast. I would tell anyone to buy from the seller!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this little book full of information. I now give this book out as gifts to friends and they love it too!!! I hope a new one will come out for me to wonder even less.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The question "Why?" is the most difficult question to answer. Douglas B. Smith put together a compilation of more than 200 questions about everyday sayings and trends so people may not take them for granted. The word "piggybank", for example, did not originate with the pig, the farm animal that says "oink, oink", but the orange clay of old European dishes and cookware, called "pygg". Wedding and marital traditions are covered extensively, and so are nautical expressions. One example of the latter is the "devil", as in "there'll be the devil to pay" and "between the devil and the deep blue sea"; that is the hard-to-reach seam, below the waterline most of the time, on a ship built with wood. It is so good a read it even addresses the simple question that many children wonder, like "Why is the sky blue?"

This book even explains -- in the preface -- the origin of the preface, and contains an eight-page index. A "must read" for those who are curious about everyday phenomena. I also recommend the "Imponderables" series and "More Ever Wonder Why".
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