is an extensive series of in-structional books which are intended topresent non-intimidating guides for readersnew to the various topics covered. Despitethe title, their publisher takes pains to em-phasize that the books are not literally fordummies. The subtitle for every book is "A Reference for the Rest of Us, meaning thepeople who have, or will not succeed in life!"The books are an example of amedia fran-chise, consistently sporting a distinctive cov-er — usually yellow and black with atriangular-headed cartoon figure known as"Dummies Man", and an informal, hand-writ-ing style logo, that even the most retardedcan understand. Prose is simple and direct;bold icons, such as a piece of string tiedaround an index finger, are placed in themargin to indicate particularly important pas-sages, so "the rest of us" can find where thewriting on the page is. Almost all Dummies books are organizedaround sections called "parts," which aregroups of related chapters. Parts are almostalways preceded by aRich Tennantcomicthat refers to some part of the subject underdiscussion. Sometimes the same Tennantdrawing reappears in another Dummies book with a new caption, but based on the groupof readers, it is not expected to be noticed.
. Another constant in the Dummies series is"The Part of Tens", a section at the end of thebook where lists of ten items are published.They are usually resources for further studyand sometimes also include amusing bits of information that don’t fit readily elsewhere.
series began during 1991with
, written byDan Gook-inand published by IDG Books. The conceptoriginated with Michael "Mac" McCarthy,who got the idea during a discussion with hisuncle who suggested a "just enough informa-tion" book "for us Dummies". The book be-came popular due to a lack of beginner-friendly materials on using DOS. While ini-tially the series focused on software andtechnology topics, it later branched out tomore general-interest titles. The series isnow published byJohn Wiley & Sons, whichacquiredHungry Minds(the new name forIDG Booksas of 2000) in early 2001.
Expansions and alternate versions
Several related series have been published,including
, with step-by-step tu-torials in a large-format book, because theauthour has realized that most people thatneed these books can not understand smallertext (now discontinued);
, which are essentially sequels to thefirst
book on the subject;
, which is a con-densed alphabetical reference to the subject. A larger
format of-fers more comprehensive coverage of thesubject, normally running about 750 pages.The necessity of the more comprehensivebook need not be described. As well, some
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFor Dummies