Evasion English Dictionary / Edition 1

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Overview

What if you fired your shrink and hired a proofreader?

More than just a dictionary of euphemisms by a hip young linguist, The Evasion-English Dictionary is a merciless translation of the banalities of contemporary speech. It's also scathingly funny.

For example, Balistreri asks what if you substituted the word "you" for the phrase "the relationship" in the sentence, "There seem to be a lot of problems with the relationship." Or what if you substituted the word "because" for the word "but" in the sentence "They drive me crazy but my parents are very involved in my life."

Entertaining as it is, however, the E.E.D. is also a thought-provoking and insightful look into the twists and turns of modern English usage—a smart and useful, albeit hysterical, earwitness account of verbal mishaps and manipulations that's destined to become a classic with language lovers and a useful reference tool on the desk of writers everywhere.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Maggie Balistreri takes dead aim at the Like, Whatever faction of English speakers and splatters them with her paint ball. Clear-minded grammar wins out in the end. Bravo.
—Garrison Keillor

The brilliant writing, lucid thinking, and authentic passion in these pages make The Evasion-English Dictionary one of the most readable and incisive exposures of linguistic camouflage I have ever encountered.
—Richard Lederer, author of Anguished English

A stimulating collection that will sharpen yours ears and stretch your mind.
—Thomas Szasz, author of The Untamed Tongue: A Dissenting Dictionary

School Library Journal
Adult/High School-The author takes on the real meaning of "whatever," "like," "I think," and other common words and phrases that put spin on meaning and avoid honest communication. Arranged alphabetically, each entry includes a paragraph of explanation of the evasive word and suggests substitute definitions. There are more than one or two meanings for frequent words. "Whatever" has the most-they include the "apathetic" whatever, the "yeah so" whatever, the "who am I to judge" whatever, and the "faltering clich " whatever. The word "like" also has several uses here, one of which is the staller. "Poetry, yeah me too. I love like Robert Frost." And "You're from Belize? That's like, South?" The word "think" is used to replace the more truthful "know." "I just wanted to explain and apologize for just up and leaving like that. I mean, I didn't want you to think I'm an asshole or something." Teens will recognize these speech evasions and excuses in everyday language and may be inspired to try out the blunt definitions in their own conversation and writing. Do these dodges promote civility or conceal the truth and promote sloppiness? This tiny, sturdy paperback will inspire debate and discussion in the cafeteria and the classroom.-Jackie Gropman, Chantilly Regional Library, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780971865976
  • Publisher: Melville House Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

MAGGIE BALISTRERI edited Popaganda: The Art and Subversion of Ron English (Soft Skull Press, 2001), and runs the language and poetry webzine CafeMo.com. She has written about the language for innumerable publications including Vocabula.com, La PetiteZine, the-screamonline.com, and Slope. Born in Brooklyn, Balistreri is a rock climber, a dirt-bike racer, and a biography embellisher.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2004

    Can't stop thinking about this book

    I saw Maggie on book TV reading to an audience from her book. I could not change the channel. She definitely caused me to open my eyes, or ears, if you will, to read into what people are REALLY saying. Mom was right, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.......now we have found ways to say what we want to, but not make it sound so harsh! Go, Maggie!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2004

    Supercalafragilisticexpialidoshous

    Great read.. Great Laugh....... Well you know, Whatever.... J. McCann

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2003

    NPR listener

    Although I understand what the phrase 'NPR listener' may bring to mind, I assure you I a at least thrice removed from this stereotype. I heard the author on All Things Considered, and it was hilarious. A must read for language enthusiasts everywhere

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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