Are you so sure about "assure," "ensure," and "insure" ? Can you determine whether a knob of butter is equivalent to a lump or a pat or a scosh? Can you say which word in the English language has the most definitions, or who put the H in Jesus H. Christ?
If you can't, be assured that Charles Harrington Elster, author of several well-loved works on language, can-and does in his latest book, a delightfully designed compendium of the most common, interesting, and entertaining conundrums in our language. Drawing upon esoteric sources and his own inimitable expertise, Elster uses a lively question-and-answer format to cover a variety of topics-word and phrase origins, slang, style, usage, punctuation, and pronunciation. Every chapter features original brainteasers, challenging puzzles, and a trove of literary trivia.