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Literature / Imponderables

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''Imponderables'' is a book series from Dave Feldman that aims to answer those questions that seem to trouble you without having an answer themselves, including 'Why do dog owners say "sic"?' or 'What is the difference between a pond and a lake?'

Books in the series include:

  • Why Don't Cats Like to Swim?/Imponderables
  • Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise?
  • When Do Fish Sleep?
  • Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses?
  • Do Penguins Have Knees?
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  • Are Lobsters Ambidextrous?/When Did Wild Poodles Roam the Earth?
  • How Does Aspirin Find a Headache?
  • What Are Hyenas Laughing At, Anyway?
  • How Do Astronauts Scratch an Itch?
  • Do Elephants Jump?
  • Who Put the Butter in Butterfly? note 

How can a book series have tropes if TV Tropes did not exist back then?

  • The Artifact: Turns out that the way a lot of things are done the way they are now had practical reasons back then, but inertia kept that way of things even after the original purpose is gone.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Their questions are called 'Imponderables'. Imponderables that resist an explanation are called 'Frustables'. Imponderables that are sent repeatedly even after they are answered are called 'Unimponderables.'
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  • Everyone Hates Fruit Cakes: From what Do Penguins Have Knees? says, there ''are'' people who do like fruitcake.
  • Mars-and-Venus Gender Contrast: A lot of Imponderables are based on the differences in behavior or objects from men and those of women. There were even plans of dedicating a volume to these type of Imponderables.
  • Precision F-Strike: There is one under the question 'Why do ice trays function better when put in their designated area in the freezer? Or do they?' in Do Elephants Jump?
  • Riddle for the Ages: The point of this book series is defying this trope. However, questions that not even the Imponderables group can answer are called Frustables where they ask readers for the answers. Some are answered, but others, most infamously 'Why do you so often see one shoe lying on the side of the road?' end up being 'The Frustables that will not die'.
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  • Scissors Cuts Rock: According to How Does Aspirin Find A Headache?, what is the best way of defending yourself against a lion? Run '''towards''' the lion (preferably while making a lot of noise)! Because lions are predators, they are not used to seeing their prey actually fight back. That is actually a reason why lion tamers can do their job.
  • Shaped Like Itself: We have all seen signs saying ALL MAYOR CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED. What is a minor credit card? note 
  • Shout-Out: This is par the course when you consider that a lot of Imponderables are related to fictional media, but a noteworthy one made in Do Penguins Have Knees? is to The Straight Dope, a similar answer-finding book.
  • Spin-Off: Who Put The Butter In Butterfly? is dedicated to Imponderables that are specific to the English language. There were also plans on one that are the difference between men and women.
  • Stop Helping Me!: An inverted version of this trope is already-answered Imponderables that keep getting sent. Imponderables calls these questions 'Unimponderables'.
  • Symbol Swearing: This is used at times in the cartoons, but one case in How Does Aspirin Find A Headache? has one in the text (in the question on why do lion tamers use chairs).
  • Take That Me: The 'Letters' section is dedicated to people who make corrections to Imponderable's embarrassing mistakes.

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