What Made The Crocodile Cry?: 101 questions about the English language by Susie Dent (Paperback, 2009)

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The Blackout Crew have a song with the title 'Put a donk on it' - but what is a 'donk'? Which ending came first: '-ise' or '-ize'? Where does the idea of a 'white elephant' come from? Who decides on the collective noun for something? And what is it that made the crocodile cry? Sparkling with insight and linguistic curiosity, this delightful compendium answers 101 of the most intriguing questions about the English language, from word origins and spelling to grammar and usage. Irresistible to anyone with an interest in the words around them. Supported by Oxford's celebrated dictionary research programme, Susie Dent tackles these and many other fascinating questions in this wonderfully accessible and endlessly entertaining exploration of the English language.
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