Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Crazy English” as Want to Read:
Crazy English
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Crazy English

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  327 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
In what other language, asks Lederer, do people drive on a parkway and park in a driveway, and your nose can run and your feet can smell? In CRAZY ENGLISH, Lederer frolics through the logic-boggling byways of our language, discovering the names for phobias you didn't know you could have, the longest words in our dictionaries, and the shortest sentence containing every lett ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 1998 by Gallery Books (first published 1989)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Crazy English, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Crazy English

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 22, 2008 DDog rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It looks at so many odd things about the English language and exploits them to the fullest degree of humor. To this day I say "foxen" instead of foxes, all because of this book.
Ms. Knapp
May 29, 2014 Ms. Knapp added it
Shelves: booklist
In what other language, asks Lederer, do people drive on a parkway and park in a driveway, and your nose can run and your feet can smell? In CRAZY ENGLISH, Lederer frolics through the logic-boggling byways of our language, discovering the names for phobias you didn't know you could have, the longest words in our dictionaries, and the shortest sentence containing every letter in the alphabet. You'll take a bird's-eye view of our beastly language, feast on a banquet of mushrooming food metaphors, ...more
Dec 25, 2011 Bayla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
English is a crazy language, and Dr. Lederer shows us how. Recommended for verbophiles of all shapes and sizes.
Carly Johnson
Aug 05, 2011 Carly Johnson rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
Great read for any word enthusiast!
Apr 06, 2008 Jess rated it it was amazing
I'm a language geek so this book was awesome to me.
Jess Candela
I loved it, but nothing else quite comes close to the joy to be found within the pages of Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon Our Language
Dec 16, 2015 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite book about English. I felt that it didn't go enough in depth about the interesting bits (ie: how all these weird words came about) and spent far too long on certain things (ex: food phrases). I'll probably keep it on my shelf for when I want to reference one of the many fabulous words that the book glossed over, but I won't suffer through reading it cover-to-cover again.
Elsha van de Boogaard
Apr 26, 2013 Elsha van de Boogaard rated it did not like it
I generally like books on the English language, so I expected to like this a lot. However, parts of it are quite outdated (talk of typewriters, "computer virus" as a brand new phrase, etc.) and other parts are entire "chapters" written in example phrases. For instance, pages of food metaphors one after another. There were some interesting parts, but I definitely wouldn't recommend.
Jared Leonard
Apr 10, 2007 Jared Leonard rated it really liked it
Shelves: general
This was my first encounter with how messed up the English language really is. He pretty much touches on all the essentials: cliches, figures of speech, big words, oxymorons, grammatical structure, etc. A fun and humorous read that I've enjoyed coming back to every so often.
Mar 13, 2013 Victoire rated it liked it
It's a fantastic book for showing off. The fun facts about language can really develop one's interest in linguistics. What I loved most was the part about the ding-dong theory where the articulation of sing-sang-sung really got me wondering about the magic of language
Frederick Bingham
Jan 01, 2012 Frederick Bingham rated it liked it
The author is an expert at the english language and its strange ways. One of the most amusing parts is a fictional interview with "Farmer Pluribus" who makes unusual plural words. "Foxen in the henhice" is the primary example. My son loved the word with 1913 letters.
Manuel B
This book is sort of old that I read during high school. Basically, it's full of amusing and absurd qualities that the English language has. It's funny.
Adam Wiggins
Apr 03, 2014 Adam Wiggins rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up
Fun idea: explore the weird & inconsistent nooks and crannies of the English language. But it got tiresome after 50 pages or so.
Dec 12, 2008 Jamie rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Reads like a list of unusual things about the English language. Doesn't really delve into the origins or history of language, or how terms and phrases are popularized.
Jaime Contreras
Jul 28, 2013 Jaime Contreras rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, humor, languages
s is not a book for everyone. Those who like the bizarre, strange and humorous side of life will love this. I enjoyed reading about our starnge language and sayings.
May 26, 2009 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, humor
Funny, but not great. It doesn't read like a book, really. It's not something you can get absorbed in, but it was fun to read some of the lists of weird words for things.
Jul 19, 2008 Melody rated it really liked it
I love all his books, this is no exception.
Aug 09, 2011 Gordon rated it really liked it
Shelves: misc-non-fiction
Extremely funny in places, but the long lists are a bit tedious
Jul 15, 2012 Elena rated it it was amazing
A hilarious look at the English language, I couldn't put it down
Dec 30, 2009 Randy rated it liked it
Amusing if not particularly enlightening.
Jan Ackerson
Mar 31, 2008 Jan Ackerson rated it it was amazing
Just as funny as the original.
Linda Jacobs
Palindromes can be very complex!
Been a while since I've read this, and I'll have to go over it to give a detailed critique. The flyleaf deals mostly with oxymorons (don't know if it deals with the word 'oxymoron' itself 'sharp-dull', I make it).

On balance, I think the book is too fast-paced--almost breathless in parts. Some of its information is inaccurate. Some of the supposed oxymorons, for example, are not contradictory, though they might seem so at first blush.

Furthermore, this book is rendered essentially useless as a re
Doug Farren
Oct 26, 2013 Doug Farren rated it liked it
There were parts of this book I loved and others I simply could not get into. The long lists of words and phrases quickly became boring and uninteresting. I don't like giving any book a negative comment but, for myself, I could not continue reading after passing the half-way point. The book could be shortened by removing the many large lists and examples and explaining more of the strangeness of the English language. There were parts I enjoyed very much because I learned just how varied and stra ...more
Libby Walen
Libby Walen rated it really liked it
Sep 20, 2016
Heather Truett
Heather Truett rated it it was amazing
Jan 20, 2013
Harold rated it really liked it
Aug 22, 2012
Carrom rated it it was amazing
Aug 02, 2016
victor harris
victor harris rated it it was amazing
Feb 28, 2011
Janell rated it it was amazing
Apr 23, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Latin for All Occasions
  • I Never Metaphor I Didn't Like: A Comprehensive Compilation of History's Greatest Analogies, Metaphors, and Similes
  • The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten
  • The Synonym Finder
  • English as a Second F*cking Language: How to Swear Effectively, Explained in Detail With Numerous Examples Taken from Everyday Life
  • The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate
  • Thereby Hangs a Tale
  • Expletive Deleted: A Good Look at Bad Language
  • The Joy of Signing: The Illustrated Guide for Mastering Sign Language and the Manual Alphabet
  • Lapsing Into a Comma: A Curmudgeon's Guide to the Many Things That Can Go Wrong in Print--And How to Avoid Them
  • English with an Accent: Language, Ideology and Discrimination in the United States
  • 501 German Verbs
  • When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It: The Parts of Speech, for Better And/Or Worse
  • The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language
  • The Complete Rhyming Dictionary
  • Woe is I Jr.: The Younger Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in PlainEnglish
  • The New Well Tempered Sentence: A Punctuation Handbook for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed
  • The Grammar Bible: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Grammar but Didn't Know Whom to Ask
Richard Lederer is the author of more than 35 books about language, history, and humor, including his best-selling Anguished English series and his current book, The Gift of Age. He has been profiled in magazines as diverse as The New Yorker, People, and the National Enquirer and frequently appears on radio as a commentator on language. He has been named International Punster of the Year and Toast ...more
More about Richard Lederer...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »