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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information

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Title: Eavesdropping
Subtitle: An Intimate History
Written By: John L. Locke

Who among us hasn't eavesdropped on a stranger's conversation in a theater
or restaurant? Indeed, scientists have found that even animals eavesdrop on
the calls and cries of others. In Eavesdropping, John Locke provides the
first serious look at this virtually universal phenomenon. Locke's
entertaining and disturbing account explores everything from
sixteenth-century voyeurism to Hitchcock's "Rear Window;" from chimpanzee
behavior to Parisian café society; from private eyes to Facebook and
Twitter. He uncovers the biological drive behind the behavior and
highlights its consequences across history and cultures. Eavesdropping can
be a good thing--an attempt to understand what goes on in the lives of
others so as to know better how to live one's own. Even birds who listen in
on the calls of distant animals tend to survive longer. But Locke also
concedes that eavesdropping has a bad name. It can encompass cheating to
get unfair advantage, espionage to uncover secrets, and secretly monitoring
emails to maintain power over employees. In the age of CCTV, phone
and computer hacking, this is eye-opening reading.

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0199236135
ISBN-13: 9780199236138
Pages: 288
Prices: U.S. $ 27.95