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Verbal Hygiene Deborah Cameron

Verbal Hygiene

Deborah Cameron

Published
ISBN : 9780415103541
Hardcover
280 pages
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 About the Book 

BAAL Book Prize Winner 1996In this award winning book 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 verbalMoreBAAL Book Prize Winner 1996In this award winning book 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, however, 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 recent explosion of advice to women on how they can speak more effectively. In each case she argues that verbal hygiene provides a way of making sense of linguistic phenomena, and that it represents a symbolic attempt to impose order on the social world.Addressed to linguistics, professional language-users of all kinds, and to anyone interested in language and culture, Verbal Hygiene, calls for legitimate concerns about language and value to be discussed, by experts and lay-speakers alike, in a rational and critical spirit.