Shocked and Awed: A Dictionary of the War on Terror

Overview


Part reference, part polemic, part compelling snapshot of our times, Shocked and Awed is a bristling arsenal of potent weapons: words. Fred Halliday's unorthodox dictionary defines hundreds of words and phrases used about 9/11, the wars and other events that have followed it, and ongoing issues linked to those events. He shows how the War on Terror, itself a fascinating linguistic construct, has brought us not just new words, such as "Gitmo," and new imports, such as "jihad," but also new ways of using existing ...
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Overview


Part reference, part polemic, part compelling snapshot of our times, Shocked and Awed is a bristling arsenal of potent weapons: words. Fred Halliday's unorthodox dictionary defines hundreds of words and phrases used about 9/11, the wars and other events that have followed it, and ongoing issues linked to those events. He shows how the War on Terror, itself a fascinating linguistic construct, has brought us not just new words, such as "Gitmo," and new imports, such as "jihad," but also new ways of using existing language, such as "extraordinary rendition." His definitions include religious, political, and military terms; famous quotes and phrases; cultural phenomena and personalities; euphemisms of war; important Middle Eastern vocabulary; stereotypes and insults; and much more. Taken together, these words tell a new story about the power and malleability of language and its important role in the central conflicts of our day. An essential reference, Shocked and Awed will keep readers informed and up-to-date on the global vocabulary war being waged around us in the twenty-first century.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The reading is fascinating and raises important questions about the use and misuse of the English language. This book ought to be in all public and academic libraries."--Booklist

"Halliday's unorthodox dictionary defines hundreds of words and phrases used about 9/11, the wars and other events that have followed it. . . . Taken together, these words tell a new story about the power and malleability of language and its important role in the central conflicts of our day."--Foreword

"An excellent volume for those who wonder about the history and definition of terrorism-related terms."--Choice

"Unusual and rewarding. . . . Halliday does an excellent job of proving the ways language is used to promote specific agendas."--Reference Reviews

Booklist - Steve Stratton

“The reading is fascinating and raises important questions about the use and misuse of the English language. This book ought to be in all public and academic libraries.”
Foreword

“Halliday’s unorthodox dictionary defines hundreds of words and phrases used about 9/11, the wars and other events that have followed it. . . . Taken together, these words tell a new story about the power and malleability of language and its important role in the central conflicts of our day.”
Choice - K. Evans

“An excellent volume for those who wonder about the history and definition of terrorism-related terms.”
Reference Reviews - Mary Axford

“Unusual and rewarding. . . . Halliday does an excellent job of proving the ways language is used to promote specific agendas.”
Library Journal
This unusual and often polemical dictionary is Halliday's (former ICREA Research Professor, Barcelona Inst. for International Studies; 100 Myths About the Middle East) last contribution to his extensive publishing record on the history of the modern Middle East, as he died in 2010. Assembled here in entries that range in length from a couple of sentences to a short paragraph are words and phrases that sprung up in English and other languages following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, as well as their meanings and contexts for their use. The work demonstrates how language can be adapted to new circumstances in both formal and informal ways. Unfortunately, the book's thematic, 12-chapter arrangement—entries are arranged alphabetically within the chapters—reduces its usability. Cross-references are bolded, but in most cases there is no signal as to which chapter the term is in, and many entries are not included in the index. In the selection of terms and, more particularly, within the definitions, Halliday expresses his opposition to Western, particularly U.S., policies and actions following 9/11. BOTTOM LINE While this is an interesting work from a linguistic viewpoint, it does not add much to the study of the War on Terror or the Western response to global terrorism. Not recommended for general library collections.—Ryan Johnson, Univ. of Mississippi, Oxford, MS
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520268708
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Fred Halliday (1946–2010) was ICREA Research Professor at the Barcelona Institute for International Studies and the author of numerous books, including 100 Myths about the Middle East (UC Press), The World at 2000, and Two Hours That Shook the World.
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Table of Contents

Publisher's Note vii

Introduction ix

Chapter 1 9/11, US Intelligence and Counterterrorism 1

Chapter 2 Motifs of Jihad: Terrorist Groups, Armed Actions and the Imagery of Osama bin Laden 37

Chapter 3 Extraordinary Renditions: Abduction, Abuse and Torture 59

Chapter 4 The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq 93

Chapter 5 Some Islamic and Middle Eastern Vocabulary 145

Chapter 6 Images of Muslims: Stereotypes, Insults, Self-Perceptions 177

Chapter 7 Palestine and Israel: 'Holy Land' and Other Inventions 201

Chapter 8 From 'Collateral Damage' to 'Mowing the Lawn': The Euphemisms of War 229

Chapter 9 'Bad Guys', 'Circular Firing Squad', 'Slum Dunk': The Vitality of US Colloquial 237

Chapter 10 Spaces, Real and Imagined 259

Chapter 11 Obscuring Responsibility: Euphemisms, Circumlocutions and the Vagaries of the 'Exculpatory Passive' 275

Chapter 12 Some other Distortions: History, Politics and International Relations 285

Acknowledgements 315

Note on Transliteration, Standardisation and Abbreviation 317

Works Consulted 319

Index 323

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