Top positive review
31 of 32 people found this helpful
Excellent book on a topic that's usually swept under the rug
on November 2, 2002
This is an excellent history of the rich lexicon of the true English language. Shows how various traditions such as verbal baiting (flyting), 'blasphemies', and 'profanities' developed in in the tapestry of English ... and interesting in that it describes only a few hundred years ago or less the "four letter words" were just everyday language whereas blasphemy was regarded as beyond the pale. Interesting topsy-turvy compared to today's use!
Learn where common or archiac expressions developed etc. Marvel at the rich linguistic traditions of working class English and the broad variation that Australian swearing can give to a single word.
Although some reviews have said this is "academic" in tone (meaning well researched and footnoted I suppose) and it is indeed rigorous, it is a VERY LIVELY read which any moderately literate person can get excellent enjoyment from.