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Verbal Hygiene,9780415696005

Verbal Hygiene

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This Routledge Linguistics Classicincludes a new foreword and substantial new chapter, bringing this seminal text up to date. In Verbal Hygiene, Deborah Cameron takes a serious look at popular attitudes towards language and examines the practices by which people attempt to regulate its use. Instead of dismissing the practice of 'verbal hygiene', as a misguided and pernicious exercise, she argues that popular discourse about language values; good and bad, right and wrong, serves an important function for those engaged in it. A series of case-studies deal with specific examples of verbal hygiene: the regulation of 'style' by editors, the teaching of English grammar in schools, the movements for and against so-called 'politically-correct' language and the advice given to women on how they can speak more effectively. In this revised edition, Cameron considers how the issues covered in the case studies have developed over time and provides new instances of verbal hygiene, which have emerged in the last 15 years , from conflicts and debates on the verbal representation of terrorism since 2001 to moral panics about immigration and ethnic diversity which are expressed in terms of language. Addressed to linguists, professional language-users of all kinds, and to anyone interested in language and culture, Verbal Hygienecalls for legitimate concerns about language and value to be discussed, by experts and lay-speakers alike, in a rational and critical spirit.

Author Biography

Deborah Cameron is Professor of Language and Communication in the English Faculty of Oxford University. A sociolinguist and discourse analyst, she is the author of Good to Talk? (2000), On Language and Sexual Politics (2006) and The Myth of Mars and Venus (2007).

Table of Contents

Forewordp. vii
Prefacep. xix
Acknowledgementsp. xxvii
On verbal hygienep. 1
Restrictive practices: the politics of stylep. 33
Dr Syntax and Mrs Grundy: the great grammar crusadep. 78
Civility and its discontents: language and 'political correctness'p. 116
The new Pygmalion: verbal hygiene for womenp. 166
On the state of the state of the languagep. 212
Afterwordp. 237
Notesp. 264
Referencesp. 276
Name indexp. 287
Subject indexp. 290
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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