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Shoot the Puppy: A Survival Guide to the Curious Jargon of Modern Life Paperback – 1 Nov 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141027061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141027067
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 2.1 x 16.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 479,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Tony Thorne is Head of the Language Centre at King's College, London, and a widely respected authority on language and modern culture.

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First Sentence
'I think we'll be dining al desko this evening,' quips a member of the team ordered to stay late to complete the boss's pet project. Read the first page
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Sudworth VINE VOICE on 10 Sep 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
'Shoot the Puppy' is a great book to dip into with some truely excellent examples of the mangling of the English language by business in an effort to provide even more dramatic illustations of how they are 'thinking out of the box'

What really makes this good is that you just don't get the explanation of what it means ('Kicking a dead whale up the beach') but also explanation of where it did, or might have come from. I have to say that there is black undercurrent to some of the terms - try working out 'proctocracy' ... and I really liked COU (Centre of the Universe). This will make you laugh our loud - and grimace at the same time and is as pointed as Dilbert. Cubicle monkeys will love this celebration of corporate life ..
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. M. Perkins on 17 Sep 2006
Format: Hardcover
This isn't a book from some `cubicle monkey' who's compiled a list of office buzz words. Tony Thorne is Head of the Language Centre at King's College, London and he has written an authoratitive and entertaining guide to modern lingo.

Yes, there's a lot of management-speak in here, but that's not all. There's plenty to do with chavs, blogs, bling, urban culture and quite a few TV/media references. However, it doesn't include any texting abbreviations - if that's what you're looking for.

After a short introduction, the book is much like a dictionary. Each entry has a definition and an explanation of usage, sometimes origin, and references to other terms or anecdotes about where the term has been used. At the back there's an extensive glossary, which includes hundreds of terms that don't appear in the main text - so it's pretty comprehensive. It's a great book for dipping into or looking up something you're curious about - doesn't have to be a cover-to-cover read.

My main interest was in the management-speak. I found the 1970s origin of `think outside the box' and some new terms - like how `thoughtshower' has replaced `brainstorming' for the ultra-politically correct. I was a little disappointed that a couple of terms I often hear (use, even!) aren't included - like `ducks in a row' and `square the circle'. But the book never sets out to be a complete lexicon.

The book is a distinctly British compilation, which is great, but there are lots of terms we've imported from the US (which, until this book came along, you could argue were not proper words, like bulletizing!). Most of these seem to relate to technology development, but there are others from everyday life.
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