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The Word Detective
A hardback collection of
The Word Detective columns

Making Whoopee
Words of Love for Lovers of Words

From Altoids to Zima
The Surprising Stories Behind
 125 Famous Brand Names

"Here's a delightful romp through the English language that will remind word buffs of Bill Bryson's The Mother Tongue and William Safire's collections of his On Language columns. ... Oh boy, is it fun! ... Morris not only solves his word mysteries but displays his laugh-out-loud sense of humor at full throttle. (Fans of humorist Dave Barry's "Mr. Language Person" will be on very familiar ground here, except that Morris isn't making anything up.) Morris does what few writers on language can manage: he informs and entertains at the same time." -- Booklist

“We know the vocabulary of romance, but we don’t always know how the various sweet nothings we utter came to carry their emotionally charged meanings.  Morris . . . shares his message with style and wit . . . a delightful little book.”-- Booklist

Note -- The cover illustration on differs from the actual cover, which is shown above.

In this slim but fascinating book, Morris reveals the history behind some of the most recognizable product names. Many still bear the name of their maker, such as Chef Boyardee, who was an actual person named Hector Boiardi.  Others, like WD-40, refer to the product’s development process: the creators of WD-40 were looking for a "water displacement" substance to repel moisture, and after forty attempts, the product was perfected. ...The book contains a wealth of product information, but it is Morris’s jaunty prose and humorous sidebars -- on topics ranging from unfortunately named companies like Poolife to the association of product names and urban legends (e.g., Pop Rocks killed Mikey) -- that make this a delightful read. -- Publishers Weekly.

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