In the same vein as his previous work, The Color of Words (LJ 5/1/97), Herbst has compiled an extensive dictionary of almost 1100 words used to disparage people with regard to their gender or sexual orientation. Herbst includes the slurs one would expect, such as "faggot" and "slut," but he also examines words like "girl" and "honey," which in certain contexts are considered condescending or disparaging. Entries are generally longer than the definitions available in other dictionaries of slang, ranging from one sentence to two pages. The definitions include examples of usage, some etymologies, and extensive cross references. Herbst is especially concerned with the context and history of the terms. A lengthy bibliography is included. Most readers will find that browsing through this well-researched and carefully considered work raises their sensitivity to their use of language, and librarians will find it useful for reference. Recommended for all libraries. Debra Moore, Loyola Marymount Univ., Los Angeles Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
A cultural anthropologist retired from the academy, Herbst follows his earlier book on racial and ethnic biased language with a dictionary exploring the history and uses of words that make insulting or humorous references to sexual orientation or gender. He provides thorough discussion of the history and nuances of each word (almost 1,100 entries) and extensive cross-referencing. Acknowledging that his liberal political and moral biases are evident throughout, he has nevertheless made an effort to present a balance of views. This is a reference for a broad audience, including students, scholars, and the general public interested in gender issues, language, and culture. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)