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Customer reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
1

Odd place, Oz - at least I've never heard the zh sound (as in 'leisure') used in raj, cashmere or kosher...

This sequel to Burridge's jolly Blooming English is clearly designed to illustrate the well-known English phrases 'cobble together' and 'cashing in'. On the 2nd page we get bete noires insted of betes noires (looks even sillier with a circumflex) and a little later 'improve' where 'ameliorate' was clearly intended. Other phrases that come to mind for this book are 'pale simulacrum' or 'whited sepulchre'; like the Cheshire cat's smile, all that carries over from Vol the 1st is vaguely abstracted affability, like a teacher vamping with one eye on the clock (while planning supper for all I know) plus CUP's cavalier editors - *three* are credited! When we read 'to quote Samuel Johnson again' we're not anticipating the exact same quote from 10 pages earlier! She betrays her principles when she says sism is the 'correct' way to pronounce schism; I'd agree, but earlier, as least where pronunciation's concerned, she's an 'anything goes' kinda gal - the 'whatever is, is right' pose that infuriates the purist. And she too can fall for a specious etymology; gimmick is far more likely to be from gimcrack than from the German. A linguistic barbie, but bring your own beer

Nine months later
I hear above the voice of the disappointed lover on his high horse. There are goodies among the fine print. 'At one time there was a popular theory that attributed the Australian accent to bad dentistry'; in parts of the Solomon Islands 'as much as 59% of the basic vocabulary is potentially taboo'. But Jean Aitchison's textbooks are far more illuminating, admirably lucid and just as jolly (see Language Change p9-12 on the 18c roots of our linguistic anxieties). And - 'horrid neoligisms', Kate/CUP?

And I don't understand my own comment (below) either
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