Short Cuts: A Guide to Oaths, Ring Tones, Ransom Notes, Famous Last Words, and Other Forms of Minimalist Communication

Overview

Our everyday lives are inevitably touched—and immeasurably enriched—by an extraordinary variety of miniature forms of verbal communication, from classified ads to street signs, and from yesterday's graffito to tomorrow's headline. Celebrating our long history of compact speech, Short Cuts offers a well-researched and vibrantly written account of this unsung corner of the linguistic world, inspiring a new appreciation of the wondrously varied forms of our briefest exchanges.

...

See more details below
Hardcover
$14.48
BN.com price
(Save 27%)$19.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (38) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $3.98   
  • Used (25) from $1.99   
Short Cuts: A Guide to Oaths, Ring Tones, Ransom Notes, Famous Last Words, and Other Forms of Minimalist Communication

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$12.99 List Price

Overview

Our everyday lives are inevitably touched—and immeasurably enriched—by an extraordinary variety of miniature forms of verbal communication, from classified ads to street signs, and from yesterday's graffito to tomorrow's headline. Celebrating our long history of compact speech, Short Cuts offers a well-researched and vibrantly written account of this unsung corner of the linguistic world, inspiring a new appreciation of the wondrously varied forms of our briefest exchanges.

Alexander Humez, Nicholas Humez, and Rob Flynn shed light here on an ever-growing field of minimalist genres, ranging from the bank robbery note to the billboard, from the curse hurled from a car window (or the Senate floor) to the suicide note, and from the ghost-word to the ring tone. The book is divided into ten thematic sections, as varied as "In the Dictionary" (discussing such topics as Sniglets, Mountweazels, and the Wiktionary), "In and Out of Trouble" (error messages, weasel words, the pre-nup), and "On the Lam" (ransom notes, wanted posters, portraits parlés). The authors look at the comic strip's maladicta balloon and the dinner-interrupter's robocalls, the advice column and the obit, and the many ways your personal appearance tells us who you are, from the message on your gimme cap to the tattoo with your S.O.'s name on your ankle. Uncovering the elegance, the humor, and the unspoken implications in these fleeting communications, this book provides a satisfying thoroughness and an abundance of connections that unravel how the oath became the swearword and the calling card salver turned into the Facebook wall.

For readers who love language and enjoy rummaging through the cultural baggage that comes with it, Short Cuts gathers an engaging sampler of the most delightful and cogent—and above all brief—forms of contemporary English.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Delightful gems."—Writers' Journal

"Short Cuts gives us fascinating investigations into the diverse situations where we have to get the right message across but are limited by time, space, or simply convention."—Erin McKean, CEO of wordnik.com, author of Weird and Wonderful Words, More Weird and Wonderful Words, and former Editor-in-Chief, Oxford Ameriacn Dictionaries

Library Journal
This one's perplexing, especially from such an estimable publisher. Alexander Humez and Nicholas Humez (coauthors, On the Dot: The Speck That Changed the World) have teamed up with Rob Flynn, a writer on computer-related topics, to present a guide to "miniature forms of verbal communication." That's what they say they're doing, but the book is like a high school paper in which the student relentlessly presents paragraph after paragraph of information, hoping that the teacher won't notice that the research hasn't been properly sifted, connected, contextualized, or edited. They sure look at a lot of "minimalist" communication, from icons to dictionaries, oaths, crime-fighting posters and alerts, newspaper and magazine styles, and suicide notes, all the while presenting no clear or well-argued interpretations of any of it. Hoping that it will all be tied together in a concluding chapter? You'll find only more of what came before, but this time on death notices and epitaphs. Here's a "short cut": skip this book.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195389135
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/12/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexander Humez is the author or coauthor of a dozen trade and reference books, including the collaborations with his brother Latin for People, Alpha to Omega, A B C Et Cetera, Zero to Lazy Eight (with Joseph Maguire), and On the Dot.

Nicholas Humez, in addition to the above collaborations, is the author of Silversmithing: A Basic Manual and the composer-lyricist of the CD Myth Songs.

Rob Flynn writes for the computer industry. He has authored and co-authored several books, articles, and screenplays.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface: A Quick Tour of the Park

1 In the Eye of the Beholder: What's Your Sign? 1

2 In the Dictionary: The Lexicographers Have Spoken 27

3 By the Great Crikes!: Oaths Both Sacred and Profane 51

4 On or About Your Person: The Talk of the Territories of the Self 75

5 On the Lam: The World of Word Crime 103

6 In the News: All That's Fit to Print, and Then Some 129

7 On the Phone: Your Call Is Important 2 Us 153

8 In the Mail: From SVBE to SWAK 177

9 In and Out of Trouble: Warnings, Excuses, and Remedial Work 201

10 In the End: Last Words 221

Acknowledgments 249

Bibliography 251

Index 275

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)