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BOOK OF THE MONTH
FEAR OF LIONS
Amita Kanekar
399

On a hot April morning in 1673, two young Mughal nobles, Shamsher and his sister...(+)

Author Spotlight

Michael Wolff is the author of Fire and Fury, the number-one Sunday ...(+)

  Michael Wolff  
 
 
 
Unmentionables
Ralph Keyes

Classification : Humour
Pub Date : Sep 10, 2010
Imprint : John Murray
Page Extent : 352
Binding : HB
ISBN : 9781848542068
Price : 1,299

About the book

We say a lot about ourselves by what we don't say.

Words and phrases like 'collateral damage', 'wardrobe malfunction', 'vertically challenged', and old favourites like 'unmentionables' (trousers, apparently) or 'lady of the night' - all are ways of not using particular words.  UNMENTIONABLES is a rollicking exploration of the history of euphemistic usage, looking at how taboos connected to sex, death, religion, war, politics, business and matters of status have produced an extraordinary linguistic creativity, and how euphemistic speech has changed over the centuries.  It looks at how euphemisms are born, and how they die (or 'experience a negative outcome') and it explores why it is that we create euphemisms, and the different purposes - from the benign to the sinister - that they serve. (Is 'euphemism' a euphemism for lying?)

  Lively, entertaining, and crammed with fascinating nuggets of information, UNMENTIONABLES is a celebration of the richness of language. Why have just one word for something when you can have ten other words instead?husbands that cheat my husband cheated my boyfriend cheated on me with a guy


Read Review   Want to write a review?
Keyes has done a spectacular job . . . I LOVE IT WHEN YOU TALK RETRO is a fascinating read'
It's both funny and fun to discover where ... phrases come from'
A handy collection'
One of the most entertaining reference books of all time'
Keyes has done a spectacular job . . . I LOVE IT WHEN YOU TALK RETRO is a fascinating read'
It's both funny and fun to discover where ... phrases come from'
A handy collection'
One of the most entertaining reference books of all time'
Praise for I LOVE IT WHEN YOU TALK RETRO
Fascinating! Ralph Keyes opens the reader to a new world of thoughtfulness, embarrassment, manipulation, and even criminality through euphemisms. While much of the book is just plain funny, one cannot help but develop a new respect for the complexity of our language and for our amazing inventiveness as we cope with every imaginable situation by avoiding the truth. An engrossing, amusing and highly informative read.
If "Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne," as Quentin Crisp once said, then Ralph Keyes has given word and language lovers a deeply fragrant-and thoroughy enjoyable-book.
It is beautifully written, uniformly delightful, and a pleasure to read. Keyes has spread a broad net and offers the tastiest morsels to his readers. I love this book!
Keyes's treatment of our everyday attempts to ameliorate through language the unpleasantries of life is brilliant - and a great read
Ralph Keyes is right: We are crazy about euphemisms. For good reasons and bad, euphemisms help us speak the unspeakable, describe what cannot, in decent society (if only we lived in one!), be described.  Those are not rings of fat around my waist; that's my spare tire. Or, should you want to know me better, just grab my love handles. Hang on tight and we'll ride through the wise and witty work of a writer who handles his love for the language on every page. '
An entertaining, informative and fantastically rude little book'
     
Ralph Keyes

Ralph Keyes is the author of fifteen books. IS THERE LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL? was made into a Broadway musical that has been produced around the world. CHANCING IT was a New York Times 'Notable Nook...(+)

Books by Ralph Keyes
Unmentionables (PB)
Unmentionables (PB)