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The Cunning Linguist: Ribald Riddles, Lascivious Limericks, Carnal Corn, and Other Good, Clean Dirty Fun Paperback – December 17, 2003


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The Cunning Linguist: Ribald Riddles, Lascivious Limericks, Carnal Corn, and Other Good, Clean Dirty Fun + The Bride of Anguished English: A Bonanza of Bloopers, Blunders, Botches, and Boo-Boos + Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assualts Upon Our Language
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (December 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312318138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312318130
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #867,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Noted linguist Lederer (Anguished English) has a naughty side, which, combined with his unerring archival instincts, makes this collection of wordplays a bawdily noteworthy achievement. As long as one doesn't overdose on more than two chapters at a time (as the author warns one should not), this book repeatedly rewards the open-minded. How about the "poonerism" (that's what Lederer dubs a dirty spoonerism, or juxtaposition of sounds within a word or sentence) that defines call girls as "the lays of our dives" and a bordello as a "toll-cookie house"? Or the list of limericks and the pun-filled "delectable daughter" jokes? Lederer strives to illuminate the "verbal vivacity of our vocabulary and illustrate one of the most astonishing miracles of language-the ability of two or more meanings to occupy the same space at the same time." Blending the richness of English with the seemingly endless supply of raunchy word tricks, the author takes pride in providing humorous, but never hurtful verbal wit, all in the name of fun and education. After all, "a dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Richard Lederer is the author of more than thirty books on the English language, including Anguished English, which is one of the best-selling language humor books in print. His syndicated column, "Looking at Language," appears in newspapers and magazines nationwide, and he co-hosts a weekly show on San Diego and Wisconsin public radio. He lives with his wife Simone in San Diego.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By C. S. Stockwell on February 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
I had lots of fun with this book. Mr. Lederer, I blame you for the lost hours of sleep! :-) There are parts of the book that I wouldn't want kids to see, but it's mostly harmless. My favourite is the poem where the last line of each stanza is missing a word which based on the rhyme would be quite risque, but it's a riot when you see what happens at the beginning of the next stanza.
Oh, speaking of risque, if I understand this correctly, this book was previously known as Nothing Risque, Nothing Gained. So if you already have that one, you don't need this one. On the other hand, if you'd been looking for it, this is your chance to get it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian Connors VINE VOICE on February 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
Let's be honest: Lederer is the man when it comes to wordplay jokes, has been for years. That said, I'm not sure why this book caught me by surprise -- after all, dirty puns are puns too, however awful they are.

I'd be willing to wager at least half of the items in this book have passed through your email inbox at one time or another. The book is sillier than it is sexy, and that's just fine.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James W. Trotter on March 22, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author notes in the beginning that there are off color jokes that take their humor from a more refined perspective -- puns, plays on words, etc. The book holds true to its promise. This is not the kind of book that you read all at onece, but sample a bit at a time -- maybe something to have handy . . . in the bathroom.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Williamson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
I really do like Richard Lederer's The Cunning Linguist: Ribald Riddles, Lascivious Limericks, Carnal Corn, and Other Good, Clean Dirty Fun. I like it well enough that I'm now on my third copy of this book since it was released in 2003, since one "disappeared" and another was loaned. It's not the author's best book, but this witty offering from the original verbivore is right up there with the rest of his collective works.

While attending Haverford College as a pre-med student years ago, Lederer soon discovered that he was more interested in language, and he switched his major to English (a good things for all of us). Going on to Harvard Law School, he discovered that he was even more interested in the language itself than in the law cases which he was reading. He switched to a Master of Arts and Teaching program at Harvard, and that lead to a teaching career in Concord, New Hampshire.

Lederer earned a Ph.D in English and Linguistics at the University of New Hampshire, and was inspired to write books on language, starting with Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon Our Language. This was followed by More Anguished English, and then by Fractured English.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sondra M. Blair on February 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A truly enjoyable book. Bought it for my 87 year old grandfather who loves wordplay and he has gotten quite a kick out of it. I had to read over it myself before giving it to gramps, and had a lot of fun doing so. However, as another reviewer mentioned, about half of the stuff is not new. So if you're an aficionado you might get a bit bored. I liked re-reading it but I can see how some might be annoyed.
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More About the Author

Richard Lederer is a fly-by-the-roof-of-the-mouth verbivore, logolept, and wordaholic, perhaps the most wordstruck, word bethumped wordaholic you may ever encounter.

Dr. Lederer is the author of more than 40 books about language, history, and humor, including his best-selling ANGUISHED ENGLISH series and his current books, AMERICAN TRIVIA, AMAZING WORDS, HILARIOUS HOLIDAY HUMOR, and THE BIG BOOK OF WORDPLAY CROSSWORDS. His works range from bloopers and puns to word origins and word games to pets and American history.

With Charles Harrington Elster, Richard Lederer is founding co-host of "A Way With Words" on National Public Radio. His language columns appear in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States, including the San Diego UNION-TRIBUNE.

Richard Lederer has been named International Punster of the Year and Toastmasters International's Golden Gavel winner.


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