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The Years of Talking Dangerously Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 4, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (May 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586487450
  • ASIN: B002UXS04I
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,647,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Booklist
“Full of fun little moments that should delight language mavens…. It’s the kind of book that you read, absorb, and then think about for a while afterward.”

San Francisco Chronicle
“[B]y paying attention to the changing nature of our common language, Nunberg has made it possible for us to feel less imprisoned by the idioms of the day, and perhaps more capable of creating (or at least laughing at) the idioms of tomorrow.”

About the Author

Geoffrey Nunberg is a linguist who teaches at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Information and is the former chair of the American Heritage Dictionary’s Usage Panel. His commentaries on language and politics have appeared regularly in the Sunday New York Times and on NPR’s “Fresh Air.” The author of Going Nucular, Talking Right, and The Way We Talk Now, Nunberg lives in San Francisco, California.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Simon Barrett on April 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As Nunberg's biggest (only?) UK fan, I'm using this to bump up his ratings. Well, not exactly. When his latest gets one bland (machine-generated?) 5 star review and one appreciative review that gives it a meagre 3, I feel the fella ain't getting his due. You've got a national treasure there, guys - listen up! Plus he's very, very funny.
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Format: Hardcover
The Years of Talking Dangerously
Review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

In just over 50 vignettes on language and 265 pages, Nunberg offers witty and insightful reflections on the idiosyncrasies of the English language. More than anything else, he offers an "inside" (linguists') look at the closing years of the Bush administration which, with respect to word usage, offered a plethora of examples to examine. It was--just as his presidency was--perhaps, the worst case of any president in history; thus, Nunberg had a great deal of information with which to work. Nunberg's commentaries on language and politics appeared regularly on NPRs "Fresh Air," in the Sunday New York Times, and in a variety of other newspapers across the country.

In each of the vignettes throughout the book, the original location of the short essay is mentioned, whether it be a "Fresh Air Commentary" or a newspaper. Nunberg's insights offer an interesting--and sometimes provocative--insight into the culture of the Bush administration.

For me, his commentaries bring back a time that is easily and happily forgotten and along with it, the failed policies and ideas that not just reflect on a failed administration, but an administration, too, whose policies and corrupt practices (to the extent of deleting or altering scientific reports that opposed administration philosophies) that brought our society (and the world) to near total collapse. These are not pleasant memories. Just two examples were how Bush and Karl Rove used the phrase "people of faith," or how the word "values" became the property of the right.
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Format: Hardcover
Fun to read, difficult to put down. I enjoyed the author's obvious careful research into the phrases we have seen become popular. Our speech has certainly become different from that of our parents, and their parents. We tend to be more vulgar, coarse and less concerned with hurtful remarks. Having said that, it is an interesting read, it sticks to the middle of the road politically, never favoring one political party over another. Recommended.
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1 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Arts Center Educator on January 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Received this very reasonably priced item in great condition and right on time--another great experience with making a gently used book purchase on Amazon.com.
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