Filthy English: The How, Why, When And What Of Everyday Swearing

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Portobello Books, Nov 3, 2011 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 256 pages
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When the Sex Pistols swore live on tea-time telly in 1976, there was outrage across Britain. Headlines screamed. Christians marched. TVs were kicked in. Thirty years on, all those words are media-mainstream - bandied about with impunity on TV and in the papers. This is the story of our bad language and its three-decade journey from the fringes of decency to the working centre of a more linguistically liberal nation. Silverton takes a clear, comprehensive and witty look at swearing and the impact of its new acceptability on our language, our manners and our society. He considers how we have become more openly emotional, yet more wary about insulting others. And how it's seemingly become alright to say **** and **** but not ****** or ****. This is the story of that cultural revolution, written by one who was there at the start, proudly striking some of the first blows in the long struggle for the right to reclaim filthy English and use it.

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Inaccurate! I'm looking at the book via Google and already I'm seeing inaccuracies. The author thinks that "twat" means buttocks in the U.S. (p. 70) Wrong! Geez, has the author ever even spoken to an American? The word means the same on both sides of the Atlantic -- except for the fact that in the UK it's a very mild word that's often used as an insult between men; whereas in the U.S. it's a very vulgar word only used to refer to a woman, and, specifically, a woman's vagina.
If something as incredibly basic as this -- something that anyone with even the remotest use of the internet could have easily verified a thousand times over -- then how accurate could the rest of the book possibly be?


Sexual Intercourse and Masturbation
Vulvas Vaginas and Breasts
Penises and Testicles
Anuses Faeces Urine and other Excreta 5 Mothers Fathers Sisters Brothers
Homosexuals Male and Female
Popular Music
Around the World
Coloured People and People of Colour
Bleeps Censorship and Euphemism
The Couch the Football Match and the Romantic French Poet
Further Reading
Index Copyright

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About the author (2011)

PETER SILVERTON has been a journalist for 30 years. He started as features editor at Sounds in 1976, covered Punk, went on the Anarchy Tour bus with the Pistols and Clash and later wrote Glen Matlock's autobiography (I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol). He's also worked as an editor at Time Out, the Mail on Sunday, the Sunday Express and the Guardian, and written for practically every music mag and newspaper in the land.

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