Going Nucular: Language, Politics, and Culture in Confrontational Times / Edition 1

Going Nucular: Language, Politics, and Culture in Confrontational Times / Edition 1

by Geoffrey Nunberg
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Going Nucular: Language, Politics, and Culture in Confrontational Times / Edition 1

The words that echo through Geoffrey Nunberg's brilliant new journey across the landscape of American language evoke exactly the tenor of our times. Nunberg has a wonderful ear for the new, the comic and the absurd. He pronounces that: "‘Blog' is a syllable whose time has come," and that "You don't get to be a verb unless you're doing something right," with which he launches into the effect of Google on our collective consciousness. Nunberg hears the shifting use of "Gallic" as we suddenly find ourselves in bitter opposition to the French; perhaps only Nunberg could compare America the Beautiful with a Syrian national anthem that contains the line "A land resplendent with brilliant suns...almost like a sky centipede."

At the heart of the entertainment and linguistic slapstick that Nunberg delights in are the core concerns that have occupied American minds. "Going Nucular," the title piece, is more than a bit of fun at the President's expense. Nunberg's analysis is as succinct a summary of the questions that hover over the administration's strategy as any political insider's. It exemplifies the message of the book: that in the smallest ticks and cues of language the most important issue and thoughts of our times can be heard and understood. If you know how to listen for them. Nunberg has dazzling receptors, perfect acoustics and a deftly elegant style to relay his wit and wisdom.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781586483456
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 06/13/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Culture at Large
Keeping Ahead of the Joneses8
Caucasian Talk Circles12
Near Myths17
Lamenting Some Enforced Chastity21
Stolen Words25
Beating Their Brows29
Prurient Interests33
War Drums
When Words Fail39
A Name Too Far42
Beleaguered Infidel47
It All Started with Robespierre51
It May Be Banal but It's Bad News55
Going Nucular59
Appease Porridge Hot63
The Second Casualty67
Naming of Foreign Parts72
The Syntax of Resistance75
A Couple of Words for Nothing Left to Lose79
The Gallic Subject84
Begin the Regime88
We'll Always Have Kirkuk92
Politics as Usual
So Sorry99
Some of My Best Friends103
Interested Parties107
Me, Too, Too112
Slippery Slopes117
If It's Orwellian, It's Probably Not121
Meetings of the Minds126
Lattes, Limousines, and Libs131
Where the Left Commences135
A Fascist in Every Garage139
Class Dismissed144
Special Effects148
A Date to Remember155
Our Nation's Favorite Song159
The Last Refuge of Scoundrels and Other People163
Pledge Break168
Media Words
Rush Limbaugh's Plurals175
The Politics of Polysyndeton179
The Speech That Turns Mere Presidents Into Talk Show Hosts184
I Seeing the News Today, Oh Boy188
Roil Pain192
Business Cycles
For Love or Money199
The Triumph of Capitalism202
A Good Old-Gentlemanly Vice206
The Vision Thing210
Initiating Mission-Critical Jargon Reduction214
Farewell to the Alero218
100 Percent Solutions222
Tech Talk
As Google Goes, So Goes the Nation227
I Have Seen the Future, and It Blogs231
Prefixed Out235
The Icebox Goeth238
Watching Our Language
Deceptively Yours243
The Bloody Crossroads of Grammar and Politics246
Letter Perfect251
A Thousand Pictures255
All That You Can Bee260
Like, Wow!264
Lucubratin' Rhythm268
Ain't Misbehavin'271
There Are No Postmodernists in a Foxhole275
Adverbially Yours279
Word Index283
Subject Index289

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