Loose Cannons, Red Herrings, and Other Lost Metaphors
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Loose Cannons, Red Herrings, and Other Lost Metaphors

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The English language is a treasury of splendid mysteries, among them the many words and phrases whose origins we no longer know. Often the original meaning was literal, pertaining to forgotten objects or activities—such as "aftermath," which once meant the grass that sprang up after a farmer had mowed a field.

With the informal scholarship and good-humored...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 17th 2001 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1988)
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Robert Watson Claiborne, Jr. (1919–1990) American folk singer, labor organizer and writer. He wrote primarily about science and linguistics.
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