272 pages, Tabs
Mortenson lays to rest any lingering confusion over the distinctions between seemingly related-yet crucially distinct-terms, such as mushroom and toadstool; moss and lichen; crocodile and alligator; skate and ray; turtle and tortoise; and mink, sable, ferret, ermine, stoat, and weasel.
Pedants rejoice as Morenson sets verbal misapplication in his sights and lets loose a broadside of correction and proper vocabulary... ("Focus," May 2004)
"This book is the cat's whiskers." (The Guardian (UK))
"Next time you call someone a weasel, ask yourself: was that what you really meant? Or did you really mean a ferret, a mink, or a polecat? Or maybe an ermine, a fisher, or a marten? Mortenson (B.A., philosophy of science) settles that question and dissects commonly confused terms (e.g., corn vs. maize, frogs vs. toads) in this highly engaging work. He succinctly describes and dispels such misconceptions in short, well-rounded sections drawn from literature, popular use, and ancient lore, followed ultimately by more scholarly natural history resources. Although writing for a lay audience, he is not afraid to frame his explanations using scientific nomenclature. In fact, Mortenson begins the book with a brief yet excellent introduction to nomenclature and taxonomy. His work w
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