Verbal Hygiene

Front Cover
Taylor & Francis, May 25, 1995 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 280 pages
3 Reviews

BAAL Book Prize Winner 1996

In this award winning book Deborah Cameron takes a serious look at popular attitudes towards language and examines the practices by which people attempt to regulate its use. Instead of dismissing the practice of 'verbal hygiene', as a misguided and pernicious exercise, however, she argues that popular discourse about language values; good and bad, right and wrong, serves an important function for those engaged in it.
A series of case-studies deal with specific examples of verbal hygiene: the regulation of 'style' by editors, the teaching of English grammar in schools, the movements for and against so-called 'politically-correct' language and the recent explosion of advice to women on how they can speak more effectively. In each case she argues that verbal hygiene provides a way of making sense of linguistic phenomena, and that it represents a symbolic attempt to impose order on the social world.
Addressed to linguistics, professional language-users of all kinds, and to anyone interested in language and culture, Verbal Hygiene, calls for legitimate concerns about language and value to be discussed, by experts and lay-speakers alike, in a rational and critical spirit.

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Review: Verbal Hygiene

User Review  - Angela Brooks - Goodreads

I needed to read this for a college class. It is hard to read unless you are use to academic writing. It also wasn't what I thought it was. I thought it would have more of a pop culture aspect to it. Read full review

Review: Verbal Hygiene

User Review  - Angela Brooks - Goodreads

I needed to read this for a college class. It is hard to read unless you are use to academic writing. It also wasn't what I thought it was. I thought it would have more of a pop culture aspect to it. Read full review

About the author (1995)

Deborah Cameron is Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Oxford. An internationally known researcher in the field of language and gender studies, she is the author or editor of several academic books on the subject, as well as many articles.

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