Todd, Richard Watson 1966-
Todd, Richard Watson 1966-
Born 1966, in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. Education: Graduated from Lancaster University; holds a master's degree.
Writer, linguist, consultant, and educator. King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok, Thailand, professor of applied linguistics and head of the Center for Research, School of Liberal Arts. Consultant with the World Bank and the Thai Ministry of Education.
Much Ado about English: Up and Down the Bizarre Byways of a Fascinating Language, Nicholas Brealey Publishing (Boston, MA), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals, including the Bangkok Post.
Writer, linguist, and educator Richard Watson Todd began his professional career in the field of accounting. He graduated from the University of Lancaster with a degree in accounting and finance, but after earning this academic credential, he realized that his interest and passion did not lie within the financial world. Todd changed academic direction toward language and teaching, earning a degree in the teaching of English as a foreign language. He also began to spend a great deal of time working abroad, especially in Thailand, where he has resided for several years. He serves as professor of applied linguistics and head of the Center for Research, School of Liberal Arts at King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, in Bangkok, Thailand. In addition to his academic work, Todd maintains the Big Applied Linguistics Database (BALD), an online resource on applied linguistics with more than 5,000 entries containing bibliographic data and other material on books, journals, and other resources in applied linguistics and associated fields.
In his first book, Much Ado about English: Up and Down the Bizarre Byways of a Fascinating Language, Todd assembles a collection of unusual examples and surprises in the English language. Todd provides an exploration of the origins of the English language, then segues into a discussion of topics such as punctuation, spelling, word usage, word origins, irregularities of the language, peculiar and illogical rules and word meanings, and more. Todd explores the changes in words, word meanings, and English grammar rules over the years, and explains puzzling facts about words with mismatched spelling and pronunciation. He discusses trademarks and nicknames and what role they play in the English language. He dedicates attention to wordplay and humor in such linguistic tricks, mishearings, and misusages as malaprops, spoonerisms, mondegreens, Tom Swifties, slang, and more. Todd offers explanations of such long-standing mysteries of English as why, if the plural of mouse is mice, the plural of house is not hice; why the word "silly" has nine different meanings; why some of the longest and most ungainly words in the language often describe simple things and concepts; and where oxymorons, neologisms, palindromes, acronyms, and sobriquets come from. Todd also includes many examples as well as interactive quizzes to spice up interest and to help readers further comprehend the diversity and richness of the English language.
Todd's book "will appeal to any reader" with an interest in English and its curious and strange aspects, noted a Reference & Research Book News contributor. "Todd writes with authority, affection, and humor," commented Rebecca Bollen Manalac in Library Journal.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, June 1, 2007, Rebecca Bollen Manalac, review of Much Ado about English: Up and Down the Bizarre Byways of a Fascinating Language, p. 118.
Reference & Research Book News, August, 2007, review of Much Ado about English.
Intercultural Press Web site,http://www.interculturalpress.com/ (March 27, 2008), author profile.