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3.7 out of 5 stars6
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 16 November 2004
From the title, one might be misled into thinking that this book concentrates on building up the reader's vocabulary - learning to decline and conjugate new naughty words. In fact, the book is intended to give people the tools to 'make enemies and impress people' - language that while insulting is far from crude.
The book, in fact, consists of insults mined from classical literature - not just Juvenal's satire and Martial's scathing short poetry, but 12 other writers, including Cicero the politician and Petronius (author of the Satyricon). The authors admit right up front that they've taken everything out of context, and have taken liberties with the English translations accompanying the Latin originals to try to preserve the flavor - puns, double entendres, imagery.
After a short introduction, including a 2-page rundown of the original authors, the book is organized in 4 main sections.
"Insults for the" is broken into 10 'chapters'. "Witless" ("He hasn't got the brains of a sleeping two-year-old rocked in the crook of his father's arm"). "Clueless" ("Even if you had 10 tongues, you ought to hold them all"). "Worthless" ("Born to lounge around in naked sloth"). "Gormless"' best lines are from Cicero, while "Charmless"' are from Martial. "Legless" goes after drink & debauchery. "Sexless", while it doesn't need to use any obscenities in English translation, can't be quoted in a review. "Graceless" heaps on the physical insults ("Your face will always remain your own worst enemy"), "Malodorous" gets more specific. "Misogynist" doesn't insult women-haters, but provides ammunition ("How am I supposed to keep an eye on a woman who is always on the market?")
"Abuse" falls into only 3 categories: "Disreputable", "Insufferable", and "Indifferent". "Insinuations" has 4 subsections, for the "Venal", "Lecherous", "Treacherous", and "Murderous". (Martial, quoted under "Lecherous": "A woman who gets married *that* often doesn't get married: she just does the paperwork for her adultery.") Finally, the book wraps up with "Useful Threats."
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on 16 February 2015
bought as a present for someone just about to go off to university, the teachers loved it too
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on 17 February 2014
There is so little coherency between the latin sentences and there translations. A few of the translations is correct and or close to correct, but a lot of it is simply humbug.
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on 31 January 2010
More space and pictures on the page than quotes. It could of been written on two pages! soon as I've read it it's going to the charity shop.
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on 13 January 2016
my nice who was good at latin at school. Di not leave this at her grandmother's after christmas so I must have appealed to her.
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on 11 December 2014
Quick delivery, item as described.
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