Junk English 2by Ken Smith
Junk English 2 combines basic advice peppered with contemporary examples of alarmingly common verbal atrocities with entertaining invective. Based on the author's uncounted hours of exposure to infomercials, ads, and other dubious cultural forms, the book covers topics like "parasitic intensifiers," "-ize verbs," and the dreaded "weasel words."/i>… See more details below
Junk English 2 combines basic advice peppered with contemporary examples of alarmingly common verbal atrocities with entertaining invective. Based on the author's uncounted hours of exposure to infomercials, ads, and other dubious cultural forms, the book covers topics like "parasitic intensifiers," "-ize verbs," and the dreaded "weasel words." "Useless cabooses" as well as frequently abused words like "focus," "factor," and "process" are examined and put in their proper place, as are the seemingly unstoppable impulses toward vagueness and euphemisms. Written so that the ordinary writer and speaker of English can readily see the manipulations of language, especially in the post-9/11 era, Junk English 2 is useful as a quick reference, a source for further exploration, and a fun read. The book is arranged alphabetically, like a dictionary, providing a compendium of frequently abused words and suggested alternates.
- Blast Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 4.94(w) x 7.34(h) x 0.34(d)
- Age Range:
- 12 Years
Read an Excerpt
Junk English excerpts
All of the examples in Junk English (quoted without correction of typographical or grammatical error) were taken from life: newspaper and magazine articles; radio and television commentators; advertisements and editorials; minimum-wage workers and millionaire executives; the underclass and the ruling elite. None came from internal business or political memoranda; all were intended to be understood by ordinary people.
Abstract Adjectives. Adjectives are not frivolous. Their job is to describe the noun to which they are attached more fully and definitely: desperate author, crazy decision, unread book. Adjectives that are not definite are detrimental; if they do not make nouns clearer, they do not help others to understand what is being expressed.
Abstract adjectives in vogue are major, positive, quality, and serious, with alternative, feasible, and impact not far behind in popularity. Some of these are actually abstract nouns, and when paired as adjectives with other abstract nouns, e.g., positive impact, serious alternative, they make a great show but say little.
Our product was specifically developed as a safe alternative for men who prefer an all-natural approach to address [treat] impotence.
I will address [confront] these policy issues.
Let me address [answer] that question.
"Any worthy energy policy must address [stop] the price gouging of consumers by greedy energy suppliers," Davis said.
Affordable is a word often used by advertisers who want to persuade buyers that a car or washing machine or bedroom set is inexpensive when it is not. An affordable product, sometimes inflated to very affordable, is one that a customer can fit within his or her budget, usually on the installment plan, with interest. Strictly speaking, the product is thus affordable, but affordable is not a synonym for cheap.
The results of the cancer screening test were positive.
Most Silicon Valley insiders agree that the offering price is outrageous.
Should the recipient of the test results feel relieved or heartbroken? Is the stock being sold for a pittance or a fortune?
Anonymous Acronyms. Organizations engaged in politically or socially controversial activities sometimes compress their names, or the names of things within their domain, into a series of letters, in an attempt to mask the nature of their work. Thus the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada becomes COMINCO, the Conservative News Service becomes CNS News, and Multi-Level Marketing itself a euphemism for pyramid scams becomes MLM. Sometimes this deception works and sometimes it doesn't.
Acronyms are meant to be easy to recall, the intent being that no one will need to refer to the lengthier phrase they stand for. The Geheime Staatspolizei (secret state police), for instance, reduced its name to the acronym GESTAPO, which was perhaps easier to recall than this organization ultimately wanted.
Some modern acronym makers have learned to make their acronyms unpronounceable and innocuous. There is no chance that DWPF (Defense Waste Processing Facility) will ever roll lightly off the tongue or that MRM (Mechanically Recovered Meat) will ever call to mind a disagreeable image. Both are anonymous and easy to skip over, never even briefly tempting a reader to linger and think.
Apology words are special, earnest-sounding parasitic intensifiers, among them genuinely, honestly, 100%, really, seriously, sincerely, and truly. Their appearance tacitly concedes that the word or phrase that immediately follows has been stretched thin in current usage really free, sincerely moved, genuinely shocked, 100% legal but that this time, honestly, what we are about to read is the truth.
Would you seriously like to make $2,000 - $5,000 per week starting right away?
Take this opportunity to learn risk free the most effective way to truly meet that someone special.
If you request removal we really will remove you immediately.
This is honestly the most effective weight-reduction program I have ever tried.
and post it to your social network
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