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Talk the Talk: The Slang of 65 American Subcultures Paperback – September 18, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Luc Reid is a past winner of the Writers of the Future contest and the founder of the neo-pro writers' group Codex.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; First Edition edition (September 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582974233
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582974231
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,952,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I used this book for a story, when I wanted to salt in just enough words for a culture to be real, and found it very useful. It's not a substitute for in-depth study of a culture, but if you want your surfer dude or goth chick to say something that sounds convincing, it's handy.

It's also a fun book just for those who love words and expressions - plenty of nifty little tidbits.
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Format: Paperback
Learning that "yuppie larva" is a term used to describe privileged kids acting snotty was reward enough for me to like this book.

While it is true that a few of the categories seem part of common knowledge (see the reader review complaining about the bodybuilder nomenclature), author Reid does a good job putting slang into context and keeping things moving along. It seems to me that most word lovers would enjoy taking a spin through this well-designed book.

One more example, from the bicycling chapter: "FDGB" is an acronym for "Fall Down, Go Boom." *smile*

Also recommended: Slang: The Topical Dictionary of Americanisms
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Format: Paperback
This book is being marketed as a resource for writers, but it's also an interesting book for anyone interested in odd or unusual facts. The attractive design of the book makes it a good coffee table item and conversation starter. As a published novelist myself, I don't know that this book would be my first choice to research a particular subculture I wanted to write about. The knowledge here can't substitute for actually getting out and talking to members of the subculture. It does, however, provide a terrific tool for browsing a wide range of subcultures in search of inspiration from some of the more poetic or intriguing phrases you will find within these pages. As a window into worlds most people never encounter, it's well worth the cover price.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I love this little book, and often recommend it to my writing students. It gives you enough words plus how to use them that you can make a character distinctive with them. It's also just plain fun to read -- Reid has found interesting words that help illuminate each of the cultures they're pulled from, giving you a feel for some of their attitudes and values as well. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Cross-cultural interpretations of meaning for language used by Goths, hackers, Trekkers and more are revealed in an unusual survey of modern slang and subcultures using it. Listings include each subculture and its key characteristics along with the meaning of words unique to that culture, allowing for an easy contrast and comparison between subcultures. More than just a simple terminology dictionary, TALK THE TALK offers a history of language's modern evolution.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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By Victoria on December 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
good book but not very useful for me, individually. Not appropriate for linguists and other experts but interesting for ordinary readers who like their language and for foreigners who learn culture and american variant of the English
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