As Pimped by Ken Jennings

As a faithful reader of the Ken Jennings blog, I followed the links in his post to a new book he contributed to: The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything.

It arrived on Friday morning, and the only thing better than the easy-open Amazon envelope it came in was the actual book.

Selections from the table of contents:

  • Candy Bars
    (Cathy says it's hard to choose between Skor and Heath because they're both terrible.)

  • Mondegreens, or Misheard Lyrics
    ("'Scuse me while I kiss this guy" doesn't make it out of the first round. )

  • Game Show Catchphrases
    (by Ken Jennings)

  • NASCAR Phrases
    (by Jeff McGregor, author of Sunday Money: Speed! Lust! Madness! Death! A Hot Lap Around America with NASCAR, which I mentioned in an earlier post)

  • Pickup Lines

  • Punctuation
    (by Jesse Sheidlower, who also contributes to Copy Editor, a newsletter I subscribe to)

  • Political Hot Buttons
    (by Mo Rocca, formerly of The Daily Show, who reminds me of my friend's husband)

  • Scrabble Words
    (by Stefan Fatsis, author of Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players, which I read and enjoyed)

  • Sins against the Language
    (includes many that I see in manuscripts all the time)

  • Sport/Not a Sport
    (by Bill Scheft, author of The Ringer, which I read and enjoyed, writer for David Letterman, and former contributor to Sports Illustrated)

  • Typefaces
    (Megan L can't believe that Arial isn't even listed.)

  • Women's Magazine Sex Cliches

  • Your Boss's Annoying Habits
    (Pestering you about going to church is not listed.)

  • Shakespeare Insults
    (Finally! Something useful!)

I foresee hours of amusement during breaks and lunch. This may be the best $10 I ever spent.


  1. I had a book of Shakespearean insults at one time. I think my mom bought it for me while I was in high school. It was very small, like pocket-sized, and alas, I have no idea where it is now.

  2. I thought of this last night as I was watching Prison Break. Is one of the misheard lyrics on the bracket Van Halen's "Manimal," better known as "Panama" to those who actually like VH? Uh, ok. I guess I'm the only one.

    ("Panama" was the title of last night's episode. "Man-i-mal. Maaan-i-maaal.")