Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Book-A-Day #92 (10/17): "Nice Guys Finish Seventh" by Ralph Keyes

I am one of those editors who are fascinated by language (though, sometimes, in the Jerome K. Jerome "I love to watch other people doing things all day long" sense), so I bought this book on my last major book shopping trip -- hey! it was only five bucks!

I'm glad I did; it's actually a pretty good book (and seems to be well-researched, from a desultory poke through the sources). "Nice Guys Finish Seventh" is essentially a book of misquotes -- quotes run to ground (as much as possible) and attributed, in the correct words, to the correct person.

Keyes is a bit humorless, and an absolute stickler for credit, so even people who put existing thoughts in very different words are lightly worked over. But this is a useful book, and an interesting one, for people who like quotes, and who are intrigued by the idea of tracing a thought back to its originator.

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