Horrible Words: A Guide to the Misuse of English

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9781846148514: Horrible Words: A Guide to the Misuse of English

Nothing inflames the language gripers like a misplaced disinterested, an illogical irregardless, a hideous operationalisation. To purists these are 'howlers' and 'non-words', fit only for scorn. But in their rush to condemn such terms, are the naysayers missing something? In this provocative and hugely entertaining book, Rebecca Gowers throws light on a great array of horrible words, and shows how the diktats of the pedants are repeatedly based on misinformation, false reasoning and straight-up snobbery. The result is a brilliant work of history, a surreptitious introduction to linguistics, and a mischievous salute to the misusers of the language. It is also a bold manifesto asserting our common rights over English, even as it questions the true nature of style.

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About the Author:

Rebecca Gowers is the author of The Swamp of Death, shortlisted for the CWA non-fiction Golden Dagger Award, and of two novels, When to Walk and The Twisted Heart, both longlisted for the Orange Prize. She is also the most recent editor of Plain Words, the classic guide to the use of English by her great-grandfather Sir Ernest Gowers.

Review:

A great delight -- David Crystal Gowers is fierce, funny and staggeringly well informed -- Alan Connor * Mail on Sunday * Stuffed with entertaining detail ... Horrible Words is lively, provocative, witty and enlightening * The Times * Exuberant and stimulating ... erudite, informative and fun * Financial Times * Witty ... wry ... As a heretic, Gowers cuts a formidable figure * The Times Literary Supplement * A very useful book, packed with good historical sense -- Lynne Truss * The Times * A joy - informative and irreverent -- Caroline Taggart Witty and erudite ... A splendid antidote to small-minded pedantry -- Robbie Millen * The Times * Will have you enraptured by etymology ... Hugely enjoyable * Reader's Digest *

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