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Dictionary of Misinformation

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  102 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A remarkable book that contains enough information to help you win bets the rest of your life:
-- The bagpipe was not a Scottish invention
-- Abner Doubleday did not invent baseball at Cooperstown -- or anywhere else in America
-- London's Big Ben is neither a clock nor a tower
-- Robert Fulton did not invent the steamboat, and the boat he built was not called the Clermont
Paperback, 334 pages
Published July 1st 1986 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1975)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice book to dip into and out of, like a cold running stream. Yes, the Internet has “replaced” great bathroom books like this (it dates from the mid-1970s), but the overall message of the book (if you read it from cover to cover) is: don’t be stupid, check your facts, statistics can be misused, and “valid” is not the same as “true.”

I recommend this book highly for those tired of lies and bluster and that orange man who is so
Proud of his TV ratings.

Here are your waters and your watering place
Tom Schulte
This is a quick easy to read encyclopedia of widely held beliefs straightened out. This bolsters my belief that quotes are often inaccurate and or wrongly ascribed. Also folk etymologies and remedies generally are baseless.
Feb 13, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-in-2021
Interesting, but a little dry for my taste. Being published in 1975, it's also a tad out of date, though that doesn't matter too often. ...more
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I remember reading bits of this in a dog-eared mass market paperback when I was in high school. My much smarter friend Scott had read it and I wanted to be as brainy as he was. But then he took back his copy, and I forgot about he book entirely until seeing it mentioned in a Ken Jennings' acknowledgment. So bought a used copy and read it straight through.

A terrific book for pedants and know-it-alls, and while I now a fair bit of what you can find in here, there was enough that I had no idea abou
J. Shaskan
A browseable and enlightening little book, full of gems:

"And early though the laurel grows/It withers quicker than the rose.
These lines from A.E. Housman's somber and beautiful poem "To an Athlete Dying Young" must be taken with a grain or two of poetic license. Laurel is, in point of fact, an extremely hardy perennial. It doesn't wither at all; and it grows neither early nor late; it grows all the time, as anyone knows who owns, or is owned by, a laurel hedge.

In all fairness, it should be adde
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great encyclopedia of knowledge. It's a must read for modern times. ...more
R.K. Cowles
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
4 1/2 stars
Dan Pepper
A good concept, but it's certainly hurt by its age at this point. Also, long entries on minor grammatical points were particularly annoying. Definitely some useful misinformation, though. Things like Robert Fulton invented the steamboat. I really enjoyed learning about some of the various Shakespearean quotations and what they actually mean in context, often the opposite of their use as sayings. ...more
Yusuf Ks
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dictionary
This book reveals a lot of facts that many people have missed. Some people thought a thing was a fact but in fact it's a misinformation. This book was written in 1974, so it would be nice to see an update :) ...more
Don Gubler
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Some gee whiz stuff here but certainly nothing earth shattering.
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book introduced me to the joys of pedantic contrarianism and probably safeguarded my virginity for many years. Still, glad I read it.
Dottie Haines
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Jun 01, 2020
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Kevin Stilley
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Apr 13, 2017
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Mar 25, 2017
Hal Johnson
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Apr 16, 2010
Marianne Wason
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Hari Boukis
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Kevin Frost
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Jerry Bagazinski
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Jessica McReaderpants
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May 30, 2008
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Joseph DeBolt
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Mar 02, 2015
Chris Ellis
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good for what it is - a book that unmasks the truth behind what we think we know.

Layout is good - goes through methodically and alphabetically without trying to pigeon hole the content into tagged chapters. Also, some books have a habit of jumping from random fact to random fact, and this book is strictly structured.

Some new and interesting stuff to be found, but also some dated info.
Tom Carr
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Mar 14, 2016
Andrea Engle
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Jun 22, 2014
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