×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Going Nucular: Language, Politics, and Culture in Confrontational Times
  • Alternative view 1 of Going Nucular: Language, Politics, and Culture in Confrontational Times
  • Alternative view 2 of Going Nucular: Language, Politics, and Culture in Confrontational Times
     

Going Nucular: Language, Politics, and Culture in Confrontational Times

by Geoffrey Nunberg
 

See All Formats & Editions

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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

David Greenberg
Although Nunberg ranges over many kinds of words, including shrewd meditations on the teenager's "like" and the growing vogue of "Caucasian" instead of "white" -- his observations on political speech are especially valuable in revealing how words inform our understanding of issues.
The Washington Post

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786738649
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Publication date:
03/25/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,265,464
File size:
618 KB

What People are Saying About This

San Francisco Chronicle
What [Nunberg] hopes to remind us is that in language lies clues to understanding the most divisive issues of the day.
July 8, 2004
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Clearly, Nunberg knows about etymology and usage and a good deal more witty, entertaining, informative and unfailingly fascinating.
June 30, 2004

Meet the Author

Geoffrey Nunberg is a senior researcher at the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University and a Consulting Full Professor of Linguistics at Stanford University. He is chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary. Since 1989, he has done a regular language feature on NPR's "Fresh Air," and more recently he has been doing regular features about language and topical issues for the Sunday New York Times "Week in Review."

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews