Filthy English: The How, Why, When And What Of Everyday Swearing (Paperback)
  • Filthy English: The How, Why, When And What Of Everyday Swearing (Paperback)
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Filthy English: The How, Why, When And What Of Everyday Swearing (Paperback)

(author)
£8.99
Paperback 256 Pages
Published: 07/10/2010

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When the Sex Pistols swore live on tea-time telly in 1976, there was outrage across Britain. Headlines screamed. Christians marched. TVs were kicked in. Thirty years on, all those words are media-mainstream - bandied about with impunity on TV and in the papers. This is the story of our bad language and its three-decade journey from the fringes of decency to the working centre of a more linguistically liberal nation. Silverton takes a clear, comprehensive and witty look at swearing and the impact of its new acceptability on our language, our manners and our society. He considers how we have become more openly emotional, yet more wary about insulting others. And how it's seemingly become alright to say **** and **** but not ****** or ****. This is the story of that cultural revolution, written by one who was there at the start, proudly striking some of the first blows in the long struggle for the right to reclaim filthy English and use it.

Publisher: Granta Books
ISBN: 9781846271694
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 309 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A comprehensive and witty look at swearing and the impact of its new acceptability on society ... Packed full of facts and answers to pressing questions, this is an interesting read and perfect for fans of Truss-style books on language - Emma Giacon, Bookseller

An exhaustive piece of research that, as a textbook of linguistic and cultural curios, works well - Kate Gould, List

Intriguing, amusing, enormously enjoyable ... Every page offers curious facts and ideas and one is left with amazement at the vast profane creativity at work in the unique human project of language. And so, despite what I was so often told at school, I now have to admit that swearing really is big and clever - Ian Irvine, Observer

[A] consistently enjoyable treatise on English swearing. Too intelligent and impassioned to be a Christmas novelty hit, too entertaining to impress purist academics, Filthy English falls into the category of popular history, enlivened by anecdote, digression and the author's appealing appetite for language's cloacal inclinations ... a generous buffet of facts surrounding our linguistic depravities - Herald

With likeable digressiveness, Silverton chases down etymologies, charts changing standards of taste ... The last few chapters (particularly those on swearing in pop music, and on racist epithets) are very good - Steve Poole, Guardian

Peter Silverton explores the history of swearing in easy-to-read chapters ... Getting to grips with the etymology of rude words has a certain charm, and is sure to make you a dinner-party hit - Scarlet

An extraordinary work ... littered with enlightening facts - David Crozier, Ham & High

Silverton's enjoyable book investigates why most of us no longer seem to give a fuck about "fuck", but are still sensitive to many other bad words. - Ian Irvine, Observer

I found this a particularly amusing and informative book ... One comes away deeply impressed by the malleability and profundity of dirty language throughout the world and its evolution through time. - Nicholas Lezard, Guardian

The book is full of tit-bits and amused me greatly. - Nicholas Bagnall, Sunday Telegraph

Silverton's often hilarious exploration of potty talk ranges from "bloody" (from the "bloods" - posh Georgian rowdies) to a favourite term of hip-hoppers shorted to "Your mother!" as long ago as the 19th century. - Christopher Hirst, Independent

A hugely entertaining book... Silverton exposes, with hilarious jokes, quotes and asides, the strict etiquettes that govern our swearing. Whether you approve of swearing or not, you have to admire Silverton's joyful, passionate love of language and his finely tuned ear for usage and meaning. His research into etymology and usage is scholarly, and his plays on words to make his point are very funny ... Silverton's achievement with Filthy English is to honour words that are so often tediously and erroneously accused of being "unnecessary" or lazy, and remind us of their history, meaning and subtlety. I loved this book. - Kate Quill, The Times

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