Language!

Five Hundred Years of the Vulgar Tongue

Jonathon Green
AUD $49.99
9781848878983.jpg
Availability: Not available to order from this website, please try another retailer

The entertaining, shocking and surprising story of slang, as told by Britain's foremost slang lexicographer.

In this richly entertaining book, Jonathon Green traces the development of slang and its trajectory through society, and offers an impassioned argument for its defence. Beginning, at least in recorded terms, in the gutter and the thieves' tavern, and displayed only in a few criminological pamphlets, slang has made its way up and out: across social classes and into every medium.

There is no doubt that slang deals with those areas of life that standard English often chooses to sidestep. Certainly, slang has many more synonyms for topics such as crime, drunkenness and recreational drug-taking, sexual intercourse and the parts of the body with which we conduct it (and a variety of other functions), for madness, stupidity, unattractiveness, violence, racism and nationalism. That, for the author, is its role and its charm.

Often dismissed as 'bad' language or 'swear-words', slang, he argues, is a 'counter-language', the language that says no. Born in the street it resists the niceties of the respectable. It is language's film noir, its banana skin, its pin that pops pretention. It is neither respectable nor respectful. It can be cruel, it can also be inventive, creative and very often funny. It represents us at our most human.

Language! is an exuberant and rewarding work that uncovers an oral history of marginality and rebellion, of dispossession and frustration, and it shows how slang gives a vocabulary and a voice to our most guarded thoughts.

Author bio:

Jonathon Green is Britain's foremost lexicographer of slang. His many publications include the Chambers Slang Dictionary, the Slang Thesaurus, Slang Down the Ages and the multivolume Green's Dictionary of Slang. He has also compiled dictionaries of quotations and oral histories of modern culture. He lives in London and Paris.

Category: Writing & Language
ISBN: 9781848878983
Publisher: Atlantic
Imprint: Atlantic
Pub Date: May 2014
Page Extent: 432
Format: Book
Age: 0 - 0
Subject: Language

homepagepromo2-Faber2018