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X for Dummies are book cover parodies of the popular For Dummies book series. The parodies usually contain the stated subject, followed by the title “for Dummies” and the series catch phrase “A References for the Rest of Us!” although this text can sometimes be omitted in favor of something more humorous. The cover is usually accompanied by an illustration of a triangular faced man pointing off in a direction or holding a CD (if the book is supposed to come with a disk), although sometimes the cover will have a more detailed illustration depicting the subject contained within.
The first X for Dummies book was DOS for Dummies, written by Dan Gookin and published by IDG books in 1991. The intention of the book was to be user friendly and simple to read, without any extra fluff or unneeded information. This straightforward method of teaching quickly caught on as a good idea, and more books bearing the For Dummies standard were published soon afterwards. Although initially geared towards teaching computer related topics, the For Dummies books soon picked up other subjects ranging from acne to chess. This wide range of topics covered by For Dummies has made it very easy to parody, as any subject can plausibly be touched by a For Dummies book,
The exact beginning of For Dummies cover parodies cannot be easily traced. Due to the sheer multitude of book writers publishing For Dummies books, there is some difficulty in differentiating the difference between a genuine cover and a parody. There exist many different image generators to easily make For Dummies book cover parodies on the internet, without having to worry about formatting or finding the proper fonts yourself.
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