Strictly Speaking: Will America Be the Death of English?

Front Cover
Transaction Publishers, 2010 - History - 240 pages
4 Reviews

Admiring colleagues have called Edwin Newman an antipollutant, sensibly sardonic, a rare bird, a genial intellect, a man nobody is going to fool anywhere, anytime, anyway. Here, in his first book, these qualities are joined.

Newman focuses on the sorry state of the English language as a reflection of the sorry state of the society. He skewers stereotypes, clichés, errors, and jargon used by weather forecasters, presidents, vice-presidents, sportscasters, diplomats, senators, pollsters, convention nominators, corporation executives, newsmen, advertisers, Watergate defendants, social scientists, college presidents, foreign correspondents, youth. If words are devalued, he argues, so are ideas and so are human beings.

Drawing upon his wealth of experience in newspapers, radio, and television, Newman contends with headwind components, game plans, bottom lines, out of sight, confidence factors, unsightly bulges, nitty gritty, and such. He deflates the pompous, the grandiose, the stilted, and the hollow. He rejoices in language that is lucid, graceful, direct, civilized. The reader rejoices with him.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

It's a true pleasure to be reminded that there was a time when somone knew the difference between "less" and "fewer" - and cared. Witty, funny, and at times downright acerbic, Newman skewers those who ... Read full review

Review: Strictly Speaking

User Review  - Penny - Goodreads

He would have some good things to say about language and culture. But Newman weighs down his good point with more obsessional collections of grammar violations and two few moments of light touch and ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

Edwin Newman was a longtime correspondent for NBC News. Some of his more famous coverage included the Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations, the Arab-Israeli War, the Vietnam cease-fire, and being the first person to interview Emperor Hirohito (Japan). He has been the host for both Speaking Freely and Today and his other books include A Civil Tongue and Your Public Best .

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