LINGUIST List 15.1006

Thu Mar 25 2004

Books: Sociolinguistics: Nunberg

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  1. jaime.leifer, Going Nucular: Geoffrey Nunberg

Message 1: Going Nucular: Geoffrey Nunberg

Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2004 18:12:56 -0500 (EST)
From: jaime.leifer <>
Subject: Going Nucular: Geoffrey Nunberg

Title: Going Nucular
Subtitle: Language, Politics and Culture in Confrontational Times

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher:	PublicAffairs (imprint of Perseus Books)

Author: Geoffrey Nunberg

Paperback: ISBN: 1586482343, Price: Canada $ 35.95


In these witty and artful investigative essays, Geoffrey Nunberg, a
professor of linguistics at Stanford, Fresh Air regular, and
contributor to the Sunday New York Times "Week in Review" section
shows how our use of language reflects the nation in which we live and
explores the most controversial topics of our time.

The words that echo through Geoffrey Nunberg's brilliant new journey
across the landscape of American language evoke exactly the tenor of
our times. Nunberg has a wonderful ear for the new, the comic and the
absurd. He pronounces that: "'blog' is a syllable whose time has
come", and that "You don't get to be a verb unless you're doing
something right", with which he launches into the effect of Google on
our collective consciousness. Nunberg notices the shifting use of
"Gallic" as we suddenly find ourselves in bitter opposition to the
French; he's fiercely funny in his demystifcation of economists who
can't deal with hard times -- "a 'recession' is really no more exact a
notion than a bad hair day." And perhaps only Nunberg could compare
"America the Beautiful" with the Syrian national anthem that contains
the line "A land resplendent with brilliant suns - almost like a
sky centipede."

At the heart of the entertainment and linguistic slapstick that
Nunberg delights in are the core concerns that have lately occupied
American minds. "Going Nucular," the title piece, does more than poke
a bit of fun at the President's expense. It exemplifies the message
of the book: that in the smallest ticks and cues of language, the most
important and controversial issues of our times can be heard and
understood--if you know how to listen for them. Lucky for us, Nunberg
has dazzling receptors, perfect acoustics, and a deftly elegant style
to relay his wit and wisdom.

Geoffrey Nunberg is a senior researcher at the Center for the Study of
Language and Information and a Consulting Full Professor of
Linguistics at Stanford University. He is chair of the Usage panel of
the American Heritage Dictionary. Since 1989, he has done a regular
language feature on NPR's "Fresh Air," and recently his features on
language and current events have appeared regularly in the Sunday New
York Times "Week in Review." Hs is the author of The Way We Talk Now
(Houghton Mifflin, 2001), a collection of his radio commentaries.

Lingfield(s):	Discourse Analysis
Subject Language(s):	English (Language code: ENG)
Written In:	English (Language Code: ENG)

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