Verbal Hygiene / Edition 1

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Verbal Hygiene discusses the use and abuse of language and questions what makes it good and bad, right and wrong. Verbal Hygiene examines a series of case studies with specific examples of practiced verbal hygiene which include the regulation of style by

editors; the teaching of English grammar in schools; the movements for and against so-called politically correct language; and the recent explosion of advice to women on how they can speak more effectively. In each case, Cameron argues that verbal hygiene serves important purposes for

those engaged in it--it offers a way of making sense of linguistic phenomena and is also a symbolic attempt to impose order on the social world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
‘Professor Cameron’s book is a deeply-absorbing, brilliantly-written discussion of linguistically-manifested social attitudes.’

Barbara Allen, University of Brighton, UK

‘Written clearly, and in a very accessible style – beneath the ease with which you can read the book, there are substantial issues that provide interesting challenges to linguists and teachers of linguistics.’

Miriam Meyerhoff, University of Auckland, New Zealand

‘The book deserves to be classed as a 'classic'. First and foremost, it defined and established the concept/term of 'verbal hygiene', which is widely used to this day in a variety of sociolinguistic contexts. Secondly, it continues to provoke and inspire some fifteen years after its publication - which is what a classic ought to do.’

Stavroula Varella, University of Chichester, UK

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415103558
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 5/25/1995
  • Series: Politics of Language Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Cameron is Professor of Language and Communication in the English Faculty of Oxford University. A sociolinguist and discourse analyst, she is the author of Good to Talk? (2000), On Language and Sexual Politics (2006) and The Myth of Mars and Venus (2007).

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Table of Contents

1 On verbal hygiene 1
2 Restrictive practices: the politics of style 33
3 Dr. Syntax and Mrs. Grundy: the great grammar crusade 78
4 Civility and its discontents: language and 'political correctness' 116
5 The new Pygmalion: verbal hygiene for women 166
6 On the state of the state of the language 212
Notes 237
References 248
Name index 255
Subject index 258
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