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Synopsis

Proverbs ... weve all grown up with them and we probably repeat them without much thought. Yes, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and absence makes the heart grow fonder, but these sayings have almost become clichés and it is the same in every country and culture. Such pearls of wisdom play a key role in the moral guidance of societies everywhere. Sometimes the wisdom is distinctly odd, sometimes it has become outdated and sometimes it is simply contradictory. After all, do many hands make light work or do too many cooks spoil the broth? You cant really have it both ways. In Preposterous Proverbs, language expert Max Cryer looks at a vast array of proverbs from around the world on subjects ranging from birth, food, women and love to money, animals, sin and death. He has chosen some of the most interesting and perplexing, and analyses their meaning and truth with his characteristic wry wit. A great book to dip into, Preposterous Proverbs will take you from Greece (A thousand men cannot undress a naked man) and Japan (Fools and scissors must be carefully handled) to Russia (The more you sleep, the less you sin) and India (A fat spouse is a quilt for the winter). Max Cryer is a language guru with many years experience of researching and writing on the subject. A well-known broadcaster and entertainer, he hosts a weekly radio slot on quirks of the English language. In a long career, he has been a schoolteacher, a compere and television host, as well as a performer on the opera stage in London and in cabaret in Las Vegas and Hollywood. Now a full-time writer living in Auckland, he has written many books, including Who Said That First?, Love Me Tender and The Godzone Dictionary.

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