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Forbidden Words: Taboo and the Censoring of Language / Edition 1
     

Forbidden Words: Taboo and the Censoring of Language / Edition 1

by Keith Allan, Kate Burridge
 

ISBN-10: 0521525640

ISBN-13: 9780521525640

Pub. Date: 08/31/2006

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Many words and expressions are viewed as 'taboo', such as those used to describe sex, our bodies and their functions, and those used to insult other people. This book provides a fascinating insight into taboo language and its role in everyday life. It looks at the ways we use language to be polite or impolite, politically correct or offensive, depending on whether we

Overview

Many words and expressions are viewed as 'taboo', such as those used to describe sex, our bodies and their functions, and those used to insult other people. This book provides a fascinating insight into taboo language and its role in everyday life. It looks at the ways we use language to be polite or impolite, politically correct or offensive, depending on whether we are 'sweet-talking', 'straight-talking' or being deliberately rude. Using a range of colourful examples, it shows how we use language playfully and figuratively in order to swear, to insult, and also to be politically correct, and what our motivations are for doing so. It goes on to examine the differences between institutionalized censorship and the ways individuals censor their own language. Lively and revealing, Forbidden words will fascinate anyone who is interested in how and why we use and avoid taboos in daily conversation.

About the Author:
Keith Allan is Reader in Linguistics and Convenor of the Linguistics Program at Monash University

About the Author:
Kate Burridge is chair of Linguistics at Monash University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521525640
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
08/31/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
314
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.67(d)

Table of Contents


List of figures     viii
Acknowledgements     ix
Taboos and their origins     1
Sweet talking and offensive language     29
Bad language? Jargon, slang, swearing and insult     55
The language of political correctness     90
Linguistic purism and verbal hygiene     112
Taboo, naming and addressing     125
Sex and bodily effluvia     144
Food and smell     175
Disease, death and killing     203
Taboo, censoring and the human brain     237
Notes     254
References     277
Index     293

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