Horrible Words: A Guide to the Misuse of English

Horrible Words: A Guide to the Misuse of English

by Rebecca Gowers


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Horrible Words: A Guide to the Misuse of English by Rebecca Gowers

Nothing inflames language purists like an illogical irregardless or a hideous otherization. To a purist these are "howlers" and "non-words," fit only for scorn. But in their rush to condemn such terms, are the nay-sayers missing something? This provocative and hugely entertaining book shows how the diktats of the pedants are repeatedly based on misinformation, false reasoning and straight-up snobbery. The result is a brilliant work of history, a surreptitious introduction to linguistics, and a mischievous salute to misusers of the language. Crammed with fabulous anecdotes and quotes from language purists and abusers throughout history, including Jane Austen, James Joyce, and Wayne and Garth, it also speculates on new and future coinages ("innuendous," "webinarathon").

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780141978970
Publisher: Penguin UK
Publication date: 04/01/2018
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Rebecca Gowers is the author of When to Walk and The Twisted Heart, both longlisted for the Orange Prize. She is also the most recent editor of Plain Words, the classic guide to the use of English by her great-grandfather Sir Ernest Gowers.

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