Doncaster author Gervase Phinn is not lost for words

Gervase Phinn
Gervase Phinn
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Witty wordsmith Gervase Phinn will be asking fans to mind their language when they turn out to see him sign copies of his new book.

The Doncaster author will be dropping in at Waterstones next week to unveil his latest offering, a book focusing on the slip-ups and blunders of the English language.

Mangled English, a collation of the best misprints, malapropisms, misspellings, mistakes and misunderstandings collected by the author down the years, is a hilarious anthology of language abuse.

During a 10-year career as a schools inspector, Phinn observed the misuse of the English language first hand.

Now, for the first time, he has collected the examples together for his new book.

They include gems such as:

n “This job should be easy - it’s not rocket salad.”

n A newspaper headline which read: “New research into causes of dysexlia”

n And “Look, daddy, I found this book - is it yours? called ‘The Big Problems of Small Organs.”

The book is described as ‘a laugh-out-loud celebration of the mother tongue and all its quirks’ and looks set to become a Christmas bestseller.

Phinn said: “English is a rich and poetic language, but is more complex, irregular and eccentric than most other written languages, and is arguably the most difficult European language to read and write.

“This is what makes it so fascinating.

“Beset with pitfalls, colloquialisms, jargon, sloppy vulgarisms, slang, faulty grammar, misplaced apostrophes, dangling participles, split infinitives, misspellings, double negatives and euphemisms, the English language offers a rich seam for a book.

“This book is not an academic text on language or a grammar book or a guide to the use of correct punctuation.

“It is a light-hearted look at the mishandling of this rich and powerful language of ours. It is about the things we say and write which can cause unintentional humour.”

The Tickhill writer will be at Waterstones in the Frenchgate Centre on December 13 from 11am.

The 160-page illustrated book is available in hardback, priced at £9.99.