For dummies

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For dummies

For Dummies (in the English original For Dummies [ fəˈdʌmiz ]) is an extensive series of non-fiction books in pocket book format . The books convey complex topics to readers who are inexperienced in the subject under discussion.

DOS for Dummies , the first book in the series.

Word meaning

The English word dummy has many meanings (see also Dummy ), including "empty pack" or "stupid", but the publisher emphasizes that the title of the original series has been adopted and the books are not literally for stupid people. Rather, it means that the books do not require any knowledge and that you literally start with an “empty head”, that is, “zero”.


The series is based on the franchise principle: different freelance authors write on different topics under the same title. Most of the books in the series have the same layout, a yellow cover with a black stripe underneath which a cartoon figure with a triangular head is depicted. The topic under discussion is written in sans serif , white font, below it is handwritten in capital letters "for dummies". In the original series, each book also has the subtitle “A Reference for the Rest of Us!”. The language is kept simple and straightforward, distinctive symbols mark important passages. IT -related books by the publisher are particularly popular (due to the first publication “DOS for Dummies”, but also because the books are available as e-books , although the IT content makes them more accessible for readers in this area) The collection already includes a wide range of items on almost every imaginable topic, such as magic tricks , pregnancy or running a marathon . Even economic topics such as accounting , controlling and social media marketing are dealt with.


The series began in 1991 with the DOS for Dummies edition , written by Dan Gookin and published by IDG Books , an affiliate of the International Data Group . The book was written as a response to the lack of literature on the use of the MS-DOS operating system, which is easy to read for beginners . While the books were initially limited to computer use, other topics were later covered, with some editions focusing on entertainment. The series is now being published in the original by John Wiley & Sons , who bought IDG Books (which had recently been renamed Hungry Minds ) in 2001; in Germany, the subsidiary Wiley-VCH is doing this .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ English-German dictionary at