The Word at War World War Two in 100 Phrases

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 9/24/2015
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Information Ltd

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War words have embedded themselves in our collective psyche; British politicians are fond of invoking the 'Dunkirk spirit' whenever the country is faced with major crisis or even minor adversity, and Roosevelt's famous description of Pearl Harbor as 'a date which will live in infamy' was echoed by many US commentators after the 9/11 attacks.

So far, so familiar. Or is it? How many of us know, for instance, that 'Keep Calm and Carry On', far from achieving its morale-boosting aim, was considered at the time to be deeply patronizing by the people it was directed at, and so had only limited distribution?

The Word at War explores 100 phrases spawned and popularized in the lead-up and during the conflict of World War Two. Substantial essays explore and explain the derivations of, and the stories behind, popular terms and phraseology of the period, including wartime speeches (and the words of Churchill, Hitler and FDR); service slang; national stereotypes; food and drink; and codewords.

Author Biography

Philip Gooden read English at Magdalen College, Oxford, and then taught at secondary school level for many years. In 2001 he became a full-time writer. Philip writes books on the English language as well as historical crime novels and mysteries. He was chairman of the Crime Writers' Association in 2007-8 and is part of the writing collective, The Medieval Murderers. He has also written the popular Who's Whose?: A No-Nonsense Guide to Easily-Confused Words, published by Bloomsbury.

Peter Lewis taught German at St Anne's College, Oxford and worked as a publishing commissioning editor before becoming a freelance translator, writer and project manager. Recent translations include The Mad Science Book (Quercus) and Roman Elegy (Haus Publishing).

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