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Many words and expressions are viewed as 'taboo', such as those used to describe sex, our bodies and their functions, and those used to insult other people. This 2006 book provides a fascinating insight into taboo language and its role in everyday life. It looks at the ways we use language to be polite or impolite, politically correct or offensive, depending on whether we are 'sweet-talking', 'straight-talking' or being deliberately rude. Using a range of colourful examples, it shows how we use language playfully and figuratively in order to swear, to insult, and also to be politically correct, and what our motivations are for doing so. It goes on to examine the differences between institutionalized censorship and the ways individuals censor their own language. Lively and revealing, Forbidden Words will fascinate anyone who is interested in how and why we use and avoid taboos in daily conversation.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521525640
ISBN-10: 0521525640
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Pages: 314
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 5-Oct-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Keith Allan

Keith Allan is Reader in Linguistics and Convenor of the Linguistics Program at Monash University. Kate Burridge is Chair of Linguistics at Monash University.

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