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Death Sentence: The Decay of Public Language Hardcover – 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf / Random House; First Edition edition (2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1740512065
  • ISBN-13: 978-1740512060
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,600,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Don Watson's 'Death Sentence' is a well-written, intelligent, insiders view of the way language is used and mis-used. I loved it! His many illustrations of how English is badly written and spoken - not just the dynamics of an evolving language, but really BAD useage - proved a fascinating read for one such as this reader who was taught parsing in school. To all of you pedants out there - get this book.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lloyd on June 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A meme is an idea , behaviour or style that spreads between and within national cultures where it mutates to suit local circumstances. It can be beneficial or toxic and tends to reproduce quickly. Don Watson présents a perceptive and disturbing critique of the adaptation of the toxic capitalist management meme to the lingua franca of everyday language. He details the consequences of the elevating legal and accounting imperatives over humanistic and philosophical tenets to public policy, pursuit and appraisal. The result is to promote conformity, decrease personal and group responsibility, lower initiative and innovation and increase individualistic and group selfishness. All in all a damning critique of the way "commerce speak" currently diminishes the scope and quality of public discourse in the western world.
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