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by Geoffrey Nunberg

“There has never been,” Nunberg writes, “an age as wary as ours of the tricks words can play, obscuring distinctions and smoothing over the corrugations of the actual world.... Yet as advertisers and marketers know, our mistrust of words doesn't inoculate us against them.” These are the years of talking dangerously, and Nunberg is a sure guide to the pitfalls. With illuminating intelligence and devastating humor, Nunberg decodes the changing syntax of Time Magazine, explains why grammar buffs are drawn to sarcasm, and deftly unpacks the telling phrases of our national conversation, from progressive to elite to change—not to mention national conversation itself.
Download The Years of Talking Dangerously epub
ISBN: 1586487450
ISBN13: 978-1586487454
Category: Humor
Subcategory: Humor
Author: Geoffrey Nunberg
Language: English
Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (May 5, 2009)
Pages: 288 pages
ePUB size: 1555 kb
FB2 size: 1980 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 423
Other Formats: rtf txt lrf txt

Fun to read, difficult to put down. I enjoyed the author's obvious careful research into the phrases we have seen become popular. Our speech has certainly become different from that of our parents, and their parents. We tend to be more vulgar, coarse and less concerned with hurtful remarks. Having said that, it is an interesting read, it sticks to the middle of the road politically, never favoring one political party over another. Recommended.
Received this very reasonably priced item in great condition and right on time--another great experience with making a gently used book purchase on
The Years of Talking Dangerously
Review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

In just over 50 vignettes on language and 265 pages, Nunberg offers witty and insightful reflections on the idiosyncrasies of the English language. More than anything else, he offers an "inside" (linguists') look at the closing years of the Bush administration which, with respect to word usage, offered a plethora of examples to examine. It was--just as his presidency was--perhaps, the worst case of any president in history; thus, Nunberg had a great deal of information with which to work. Nunberg's commentaries on language and politics appeared regularly on NPRs "Fresh Air," in the Sunday New York Times, and in a variety of other newspapers across the country.

In each of the vignettes throughout the book, the original location of the short essay is mentioned, whether it be a "Fresh Air Commentary" or a newspaper. Nunberg's insights offer an interesting--and sometimes provocative--insight into the culture of the Bush administration.

For me, his commentaries bring back a time that is easily and happily forgotten and along with it, the failed policies and ideas that not just reflect on a failed administration, but an administration, too, whose policies and corrupt practices (to the extent of deleting or altering scientific reports that opposed administration philosophies) that brought our society (and the world) to near total collapse. These are not pleasant memories. Just two examples were how Bush and Karl Rove used the phrase "people of faith," or how the word "values" became the property of the right.