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Verbatim, says the language quarterly's editor, Erin McKean, is "a magazine about all of the fun parts of English and linguistics, written for people who don't necessarily have a Ph.D." This collection of pieces culled from the quarterly is like a candy shop for word lovers. John Tittensor writes about unfortunate last names, Philip Michael Cohen discloses the secret lingo of tiddlywinks players, Pete May explores British football chants, and Jesse Sheidlower reports on the revising of his book The F-Word. Steve Bonner considers "the language as it will never be used," dreaming up evocative word combinations so unlikely that they'd never be uttered: "rotating strawberry madonna," "angry tuba gravy." McKean claims to like "that 'bad English' exists." She also maintains that one should resist correcting the grammar of others. "The easiest way to put your own utterances under intense scrutiny," she warns, "is to toss off a thoughtless public correction of someone else's." --Jane Steinberg
For lovers of the intricacies of language comes an anthology of the best writing from Verbatim: The Language Quarterly, which has been investigating, debating, and dissecting English for almost 30 years. Erin McKean, the magazine's editor since 1997, has collected lively essays on popular linguistics, dictionaries and the men and women who make them, English etymology and usage, and, of course, obscenity. From a consideration of "student bloopers" to a disquisition on the nature of slang, these thoughtful and often humorous offerings provide insight into the sophisticated systems of human communication in language that's appropriately fresh and, thankfully, jargon-free.
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"Verbatim" explores the intricacies of the English language. It is a collection of essays written by talented authors that discusses the words we use and what effect it may have in... Read morePublished on March 29, 2011 by Hmph
God, I love this book! Where else are you going to find a fascinating exegesis of the use of slang in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a discussion of the specific nuances of language... Read morePublished on January 25, 2008 by David M. Giltinan