Most helpful critical review
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A waste, a gimmick but not particularly insightful
on January 13, 2013
This title is a dictionary and contains many uses of the titular word and stand-ins that can take its place. There were a few that I did not know but by and large there were no surprises, which in itself might count as one but still, I did expect to learn something.
The introduction definitely held some potential, but then was all too short. Certainly, it covered a fair bit of ground but could have done so much more. Actually trace usage across languages or influences from other languages are either missing or glossed over. Granted it makes excuses on these fronts but given I am fluent in German I know there is more that could be talked about. And similarly, there could have been more exploration of taboo words and across other cultures. This however is not that book, and really that was what it left me wondering about.
Rather, this contains some uses I suspect most English speakers will know, intuitively perhaps :) . Also, despite claims to greater awareness outside of American uses, it definitely lacked some uses we have in Australia, and although these were not so missed, it did draw this US focus into focus.
Overall, this book is a gimmick, possibly a primary reference for a very select audience, but not something one would refer to often, and thus defeating its primary purpose. Certainly not a complete waste so much as a missed opportunity, not just for the reader but also the editor.