Word Watching: Field Notes of an Amateur Philologist

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Thunder's Mouth Press, 2005 - 234 Seiten
We live in a torrent of words—from radio and television, books and newspapers, and now from the Internet. But, as Julian Burnside reminds us in this witty and erudite collection, words are a source both of pleasure and power, and can be deployed for good or for ill.

Some of these essays explore curiosities in odd corners of the language simply to remind us of the extraordinary richness of the English language. We learn, for example, that the word "pedigree" refers to the shape of a crane’s foot, and that "halcyon" recalls an early Greek love story. Other pieces use small matters of language to illustrate larger processes of cultural borrowing and change. Burnside’s musings remind us that we should not be alarmed at the instability of English; rather, we should be view its borrowings as a source of its strength and vitality.

Wordwatching also highlights the misuse of language in the service of sinister purposes—whether political, ideological, social, or personal. An ear well-tuned to the nuances of vocabulary inoculates the hearer against this epidemic of deception. This book truly gives us a fascinating demonstration of the power and the pleasure of the English language.

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Word Watching

Nutzerbericht  - Thorpe-Bowker and Contributors - Books+Publishing

Julian Burnside, a barrister who specialises in both commercial litigation and human rights work, is a passionate, erudite and witty man. His dissection of the vagaries and bastard history of the ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

Über den Autor (2005)

Julian Burnside is an Australian lawyer who specializes in commercial litigation but is also deeply involved in human rights work, in particular in relation to refugees. He has published a children’s book, Matilda and the Dragon, and is also the author of From Nothing to Zero, a compilation of letters written by asylum-seekers held in Australia’s detention camps.

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