DOUBLE-SPEAK IN AMERICA by Mario Pei

DOUBLE-SPEAK IN AMERICA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Since 1969 when Dr. Pei's Words in Sheep's Clothing was published, the playful semi-semanticist has collected popular word-and-phrase coinages by the bushel and peck, from just about everywhere, including advertising (from Mama Mia! to ""uncola""), youth-speak, sex and Lib currencies, media and academia, and on and on. There is a section on ""ugly"" and ""beautiful"" Pet preferences -- he loves some international ear-flatterers like the Japanese yuki (snow), the Russian ptitsa (bird), but dislikes our own ""nitty gritty."" He closes with oddments about usage and thoughts on the degeneration of English American style -- too little ""good grammar and good taste."" Dr. Pei's approach is to scoop a bale of vernacular haymakers for, it seems, mainly entertainment, with no stringent analysis -- cultural or semantic. You know all the words. You just haven't seen them all together before.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 1972
Publisher: Hawthorn