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English as a Second F*cking Language: How to Swear Effectively, Explained in Detail with Numerous Examples Taken From Everyday Life Paperback – June 15, 1996

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English as a Second F*cking Language: How to Swear Effectively, Explained in Detail with Numerous Examples Taken From Everyday Life + Watch Your F*cking Language: How to swear effectively, explained in explicit detail and enhanced by numerous examples taken from everyday life + Urban Dictionary: Freshest Street Slang Defined
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Great f*cking book!" --Stephen King

About the Author

World-renowned for his innovative lectures and workshops, Professor Sterling Johnson has been teaching English as a second language for over twenty years. He now lives in Pacific Grove, California, where he enjoys a "nice f*cking day" as much as the next fellow.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (June 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031214329X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312143299
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you are not a native English speaker - and want to *really* understand what these f*cking Americans are talking about - this book is a must-read
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Victoria Tarrani on July 12, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Be prepared to laugh and ride the humorous wave with Sterling Johnson.
In the 1970's, George Carlin cited seven words that would never appear on TV, but time and theatrical productions have changed their acceptability. Unfortunately, I cannot list them in this review because they would not be suitable, but they are listed on page 8 of this book.
Cable TV followed the lead when they began showing these R+ rated movies. Language that was not conventional when Carlin clarified what the "bad" words were is now common in conversations.
His and Hers, Hands on experience, Tips and Traps are just a few of the sections that provide alternate words for different body parts and actions. Throughout the book, Johnson gives examples through dialogue. The goal is to help the newcomer with a way to understand what f*ck and other derivatives mean, and which ones are fighting words.
Writers will find this book is a clear definition of how to write true to life dialogue for today's market.
I was expecting a different outlook than definitions of "bad" words, so I was somewhat disappointed. However, this is a valuable resource that is well written and funny.
Victoria Tarrani
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By "dougie_t" on October 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
I first stumbled across Sterling Johnson's "English as a Second F*cking Language" summer of 2001 in a second-hand bookstore in Monterey, California. As I casually skimmed its pages, my giggles began drawing annoyed glances and assorted 'harumphs' from the other patrons, so I quickly picked up five or six copies and headed toward the cashier.
To those of you fearful of lacking humorous anatomical components (aka "funny bones"), I say "Balderdash!", not to mention "Oh, c'mon!" Anyone who doesn't see the inherent silliness of assigning so much emotional baggage to f*cking WORDS for G*d's s*ke just n**ds to g*t out a b*t more.
As an English teacher by trade, it's possible I suppose that I am predisposed to see the humor in it, having struggled mightily and often to explain the nuances of myriad words self-contentedly tucked away within our mother-tongue's gargantuan lexicon.
But you don't have to be a TESOL-er to appreciate Johnson's sterling tongue-in-cheek mockery of academic pretense; it seeps and oozes from between every line. "English as a Second F*cking Language" is the ideal birthday, Ramadan, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, (etc.) gift for any of your favorite speakers of English as a Second Language.
Please contact me if you are still undecided about the wisdom of such a purchase. I can assure you that I have no business or personal relationship with the author, although admittedly, I should very much like to chat with this Johnson fellow, if that is indeed his [her?] real name.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is the funniest book I've read in years. This year I'm giving copies to all my friends with open minds (and to a few narrow-minded people who need to lighten up).
I picked up some great expressions I'd never heard before and scored 100% on the final exam at the end of the book, which is a classic in itself.
The dialogues are hilarious, just the thing for aspiring actors to use as practice exercises.
I'd love to see the author on "Politically Incorrect." He'd fit right in.
Maybe they'll make a movie of the book. After all, they made a movie about "Pi." If they ever did make the movie, Bill Murray would be perfect as Sterling Johnson.
I don't know how many times I've picked this book up and read passages aloud to friends. They are always delighted, although some pretend to be shocked.
It's a gem.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Stephen K on December 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
I definately recommend this comprehensive little book for people interested in real-life obscenities. It has in-depth historical and etymological information they would never imagine, and is presented in tasteful style with wonderful examples.

As the title suggests, this book is excellent for foreigners; but, native speakers of English will enjoy it as well.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 16, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow! I laughed from start to finish. I literally had to leave the room, cause it was embarrassing to be standing there, laughing out loud all by myself.

The author has done an amazing job, not only of amassing an astounding number of cuss words and phrases, but of capturing the true essence of each, in a succinct -- and very funny -- way.

This book makes a great gift for any friend with a sense of humor!
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By therosen VINE VOICE on August 8, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is a good chuckle for a couple 30 minutes rides on the exercize bike.
It's written in a very serious an authoritative tone. It writes about what the esteemed panel recommends for alternatives to sh*t and f*ck. It talks about the grammer of swearing. Seriously.
Will it really teach anyone to swear? No - you should know this by now.
Is it really aimed at teaching someone swearing jargon? No on that front too.
Is it good humor for someone who asks their friends to pull their finger? Absolutely!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is the first book on swearing I've ever read where the author seems to have fun. It's very funny and also informative.
A great way to test somebody's sense of humor is give them a copy of this book and then watch their reaction.
Every time I started reading it, I fell off the couch. By page 20, I had done myself permanent injury, but, by gum, it was worth it!
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