Well, to solidify my geekiness, how about I tell you about the book I'm currently reading? It's called Verbatim, and it's a collection of articles from a magazine by the same name. The blurb on the front cover says, "From the bawdy to the sublime, the best writing on language for word lovers, grammar mavens, and armchair linguists." It's really fascinating.
The last book I read was The Greatest Stories Never Told. That was a collection of little tidbits from history that never seem to make it into the textbooks. For example, did you know that the Scopes Monkey trial was a complete sham? It's true. They set it up so the town would get some press.
"When high school teacher John Scopes was put on trial in Dayton, Tennessee, for teaching evolution, the eyes of the entire nation were focused on the small town. Which, as it turns out, was exactly what the town fathers were hoping for when they cooked up the phony trial in the first place.
"After Tennessee became one of three states to pass a law banning the teaching of evolution, the ACLU took out newspaper ads looking for a test case with which to challenge the law. The town fathers of Dayton saw this as an unprecedented opportunity for some self-promotion. They weren't trying to stop Scopes at all. He was in on the deal--they asked his permission before prosecuting him. Scopes wasn't even the regular biology teacher. He was a popular football coach who taught biology only as a substitute. Everyone agreed on the plan at Robinson's drug store, where the prosecutors swore out a warrant that was handed to the accused.
"As Scopes headed out to a tennis game, the prosecutor called the press with the news. Soon the entire nation was to be riveted by the controversial trial that was born as a PR ploy."
--Rick Beyer, The Greatest Stories Never Told, page 158
Is that cool or what?
I am such a nerd.