The publisher of Lynne Truss' phenomenally successful Eats, Shoots & Leaves
[BKL Je 1 & 15 04] now brings out a book on language that has been a best-seller in Australia. It is not, like Truss' book, a treatise on punctuation; however, it does share that book's passionate concern about the erosion of language, especially public discourse as practiced by businesspeople, academics, journalists, and politicians. Watson makes an eloquent, elegant, and sometimes scathing case for taking back the language from those who would strip it of all color and emotion and, therefore, of all meaning. Watson deploys devastating examples of the deadening effect of our current use of language by recasting the Gettysburg Address and Shakespearean dialogue in corporate business-speak. Furthermore, he argues that politicians use obfuscating language to foster a climate of deceit: "Spin abounds. Whatever is most hackneyed triumphs. . . . Language goes out the window, and with [it] many opportunities for humor, spontaneity, originality, and surprise." With admirable clarity and logic, Watson makes the decay of language an issue of prime importance for everyone, not just wordsmiths. Joanne WilkinsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
A fine and necessary book. Any citizen who neglects to read it does so at his or her peril. -- Lewis H. Lapham, editor of Harpers Magazine
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.