Saturday, February 2, 2013

Language Most Foul by Ruth Wajnryb.

Language Most Foul by Ruth Wajnryb.  Hardcover book published by Allen & Unwin 2004, 230 pages.

“Swearing relieves the feelings - that is what swearing does. I explained this to my aunt on one occasion, but it didn't answer with her. She said I had no business to have such feelings.” ― Jerome K. Jerome, Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow

I like a good swear word, particularly when it’s used creatively and constructively.  All the big ones are here in this book, including new versions of old favourites and the author doesn’t hold back with the invectives.  There are whole chapters devoted to particular expletives and the usage thereof as well as other chapters delving into blasphemy, cursing, obscenity etc etc. The book is written in an entertaining manner and the author appears to be very familiar with the subject matter at hand.  I have to admit that I’m a novice compared to her obvious dexterity with the subject and I can only hope that one day I will be able to master this sort of dexterous verbosity. 

This is a great book for anyone with, or contemplating, a potty mouth.  It’s obviously not written for Jerome K. Jeromes Aunt (see above) or my mum (don’t ask my mum about this), but rather more open minded/hardened language users who don’t mind a broader use of English.  The author also includes some information regarding other languages and cultures and their uses of “Language most foul” and the whole lot is lovingly written with touches of history and humour.  The publishers blurb sums up who this book will appeal to, very nicely:

“Most foul is a must read for anyone who loves language-or has ever stubbed their toe.”  

At the moment i have two copies of this book available, one on line, and one patiently waiting to go on line.  Somehow I feel that as with many other language books that I do sell, this book will do better in a bricks and mortar hands on selling environment rather than the interwebs. So I think I’ll take the patiently waiting copy and move it to the bricks and mortar and see what happens as my intestinal discomfort tells me that the on line copy is going to be there for a while yet.

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