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rionafaith

rionafaith

Currently reading

Fire Watch
Connie Willis
Lonely Planet: Southeast Asia on a shoestring
China Williams, Greg Bloom, Celeste Brash, Andrew Burke
Fodor's See It Thailand 2008
Fodor's Travel Publications Inc.
Expletive Deleted: A Good Look at Bad Language - Ruth Wajnryb This was a bit more dry and academic than I expected, but I still enjoyed it. I thought it would be more of a history of swearing, or a sociological study of the way different groups curse. There's definitely some of that but most of the focus is on linguistics, which I really don't know much about.

In addition to the "dirty dozen" in English--fuck, cunt, shit, piss, bastard, bitch, ass, damn, hell, fart, crap, and dick, according to Wajnryb--this book also explores swearing in different languages and countries, and how various cultural taboos affect what words are considered bad or insulting. Those were the sections I found most interesting. The author also studies language from a feminist perspective, and devotes several chapters to exploring how swearing is gendered. For example, there are many more nasty names to call women than there are men, and most of these insults reflect society's misogyny. "Slut" and "whore" are obviously indicative of a fear of women's sexuality, and other terms are often meant to insult women's appearances. Meanwhile, even the many of the insulting words used commonly against men, such as "bastard" and "motherfucker", are jabs at women as much as the men they're directed at.

While this wasn't exactly what I was looking for, I did find some pleasantly interesting surprises like those sections I referenced above. I'm still looking for more of a pop culture type of nonfiction related to language though, rather than dense academia like this.