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Boo & Hooray: Dysphemisms and Euphemisms by [Fisher, Lucy R.]
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Boo & Hooray: Dysphemisms and Euphemisms Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Kindle Edition, 18 Feb 2015
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Length: 286 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1912 KB
  • Print Length: 286 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00TSH7Z4U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #905,527 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Ambrose Bierce compiled his 'Devil's Dictionary, in a relatively plain-speaking age, except where sex was the topic. The legion of liars and spinners who constitute the advertising and PR industries had yet to be recruited and so Bierce seized on everyday words with everyday meanings for his little bit of lexical fun. For example: 'Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy.. 'Boo and Hooray' is a sort of Devil's Dictionary for our euphemism-rich times . We all know about things like 'downsizing' and 'pre-owned' but I hadn't realised that constipation, which used to be something of a national preoccupation in my post-war childhood, has almost disappeared from the health pages and is now subsumed under 'indigestion' and 'bloating' for which 'detox' can mean a rather specific sort of clear-out.

A boo-word or dysphemism is 'a nasty word for an OK thing' but also contains 'an implied sneer' and both boo- and hooray- words are intended to 'obliterate an opposing viewpoint'. There's some obvious overlap with political correctness and there are hints that the author has had at least her (un)fair share of sexist put-downs, though in such a situation, she would probably be swift and inventive with a put-down of her own. It's difficult to choose from so many good examples but among the more inventive ones, I particularly liked: 'Church planting = Trotskyite entryism by charismatic groups. Executive home = large ugly house on tiny plot too near a lot of others exactly the same. Materialism = the wrong people spending money on naff things, the wrong people making more money than us, chavs buying vulgar things. Ruritania is not ready for democracy = we really do need to go on torturing people for a bit'.
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