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Watch your language! : mother tongue and her wayward children / Robert Gorrell.
Description: 1 online resource (xiv, 218 pages)
Publisher: Reno, Nev. : University of Nevada Press, ©1994.
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- ISBN: 0874174376
- ISBN: 9780874174373
1. Language and Society; Society and Language. Turning Black to White: Public Doublespeak. Jew's Harp and French Horn: Language and Racism. Fighting Words and Flaming Flags. Desexing the Language. Mind-Softening: Lying and the Teflon Effect. 51 Percent Truthful -- 2. Words and Their Ancestors: Family Trees. Folk Etymology and Punch and Judy. Birds and Animals. Names into Words. Family Trees with Straight Branches. Portmanteau Words. Etymologists at Play -- 3. Growing Pains: Dealing with Linguistic Changes. Semantic Change. New Kids on the Block. Workaholic and Suffixaholism. Autoantonyms. Conflicting Compounds. Positives and Negatives. Semantic Change and Reading Shakespeare. Draining Meaning: Making Words Empty. Words that Don't Change. Put Up, Put Out, Put In, Put Off, Put Over -- 4. The Ordinary Sentence: Grammar and Meaning. Square Pegs and Round Holes: Meaning and Grammar. Two Plus Two Equals Four, Not Five. Equations with Modifiers. Varying the Pattern. Modifiers: Dangling.
Modifiers: Misplaced and Squinting. Writing as a Balancing Act. Coordination and Parallel Form. Comparisons: Ears Like a Rabbit -- 5. Embalming Problems: Preserving Vestigial Remains. Saving Whom. Whom-Happiness. Whose for Things. An Ending that Doesn't Know Its Place. Verb Forms: The Past Becoming Present. Verbs that Can't Make Up Their Minds. Take Your Choice. Dialect Variations. Keeping Lie Alive. Pitfalls and Complications. Sitting Bull, Setting Sun, Rising Star, Raising Cain. Ghosts that Walk; Making Verbs Agree. How Many Is or Are a Committee? More than One Subject. Data, Media, None -- 6. Bishop Lowth to Miss Groby: Dealing with Rules. The Victory Over Ain't. Latin Grammar in the Van: Final Prepositions. Grandpa's Beard and Split Infinitives. Bad Algebra and the Double Negative. Rules and Possessives. The Ecclesiastical Shall and Related Rules. How Not to Start a Sentence. Leaky Rules and Useful Distinctions -- 7. Elegant English for You and I: Overcorrection. U and Non-U. How Do You Say It?
Being Careful with Me and Him. How Does the Dog Smell? Fancy and Phony. Fancy Fillers and Pretentious Padding: Cereal in the Hamburger. Bondoony. Jammies and Other Cozzies -- 8. The Writing System: Conventions. How Do You Spell Fish? Spelling Reform. Silent Letter E. The Sounds of K and S. Compounds. Homonyms. Demons. Borrowed Plurals. Articles: A, An, The. Punctuating for Confusion: Errant Commas, Including Inverted Ones. Restrictive and Nonrestrictive. Ornamental Quotation Marks. Save the Semicolon. Conventions and Politeness. What Do You Call a Preacher? -- 9. Fun with Language. Metaphor: Happy as a Bear. Word Games. Highbrow Games. Playing with Sound. Glorified Cliches and Twisted Idioms. A Low Species of Wit and Shaggy Dogs. Language Traps for the Unwary. Punditry and Puntification. Swifties and Merriwells. Palindromes. Oxymorons, Some Moronic. Taking Words in Vain. Giggles of Geese and A Pure of Meadowlarks.
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Most language mavens seem to come not to praise English, but to bury it; they constantly warn us of the imminent demise of our mother tongue. Not to worry, says Robert Gorrell. In this lively, playful celebration of the joys and power of language, he points to all the signs that show English to be alive and well, and, like any other living thing, constantly evolving.
Gorrell's goal is not so much to chastise the errant speaker or writer as it is to foster an appreciation of words and the best ways to use them.
Thus, while he provides clear, concise explanations of why certain usages are inelegant or incorrect, Gorrell is also unafraid of reproaching other experts over usage debates he feels are picayune - pointing out, for example, that one writer of a popular language manual sets forth a dictum on the uses of "that" and "which" that he himself then violates a few paragraphs later.
Watch Your Language! covers a wide array of topics of interest to all aficionados of English, from political doublespeak to spelling, from etymology to puns and wordgames. Throughout, Gorrell invites readers to share his love for words and his delight in the ways in which they can be used, played with, or even amusingly abused.
For, he feels, it is this kind of affection and playfulness, more than any dry adherence to strict formulations, that will bring to our writing and speaking the sparkle and vivacity that are the most important elements of style.
Electronic reproduction. [S.l.] : HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010.
Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002. http://purl.oclc.org/DLF/benchrepro0212
digitized 2010 HathiTrust Digital Library committed to preserve
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Print version record.
Citation: Gorrell, Robert M. "Watch your language! : mother tongue and her wayward children." Reno, Nev. : University of Nevada Press, ©1994.
Search Results Showing Item 4 of 10000