Recovery A to Z
Recovery A to Z is the perfect reference book for anyone in a twelve-step program or who is interested in learning more about twelve-step recovery. This user-friendly compendium explains and defines words, phrases, and slogan commonly used in recovery programs. It is designed to give those new to twelve-step recovery and friends and family members of persons in recovery a starting point to learning about the language of recovery. Those who have been in the program for a while can also develop or expand their own understanding of many of the terms used in meetings and program literature. It will make a great gift for your "newcomer sponsee." Not sure what a "newcomer sponsee" is? Then you definitely need to get this book!
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I have 24 years of continuous sobriety in AA. I have also researched AA narrating as part of my BA, then my MA, and now my Ph.D. at a Tier One research university.
In my fieldwork (centered in Los Angeles but including fifteen other US cities and several foreign ones) I have found that usage of words as special terms is highly localized. Some of the terms defined here might have special meaning in the areas where the authors researched, but not all of those meanings are universal to AA practice. Another category of words listed herein are used identically to the way they are used commonly, in everyday speech both in and out of AA usage. All told, at least one-third of these terms could be omitted; the resulting book would be more specific and accurate.
If the book were shorter, more space could be used to craft more careful and accurate definitions. Examples of terms in use would be especially helpful.
All in all, this book might be interesting to page through, but it is neither a reliable prediction of experiences in general fieldwork or to the new 12-step member, nor an accurate source for "translation" of AA jargon.