Reviews and overviews
Formal / Public Language (Unit 3)
An overview of useful books
- George Orwell (Why I Write): formal language and doublespeak
- David Crystal’s books: The Story of English in 100 Words (2001) (loanwords; new varieties; vocabulary as an insight into social milieu;, ways of thinking and cultural innovations; doublespeak; “when we explore the history of words, we find a window into society. It is a major theme of this book.”
- David Crystal’s Making a Point: The Pernickety Story of English Punctuation (2016) give an overview of punctuation. See Crystal on “pragmatic tolerance” and punctuation and the internet
- David Crystal and George Orwell – quotes for doublespeak
- Gillian Triggs, Speaking Up: re freedom of speech, 18C and 18D, non-discriminatory language. Gillian Triggs is the former Human Rights Commissioner; in Speaking Up Ms Triggs provides excellent background to, and an overview of, language examples that breached 18C. She also covers examples relating to 18D.
- Don Watson’s Death Sentence provides examples of “weasel” words and “sludge” language: he gives a background on “slogans”, cliches and jingle. His latest book, Watsonia, (2020) consists of a compilation of his essays.
- Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots and Leaves: a prescriptivist, Ms Truss believes that punctuation should be respected and that a comma makes a small, but often a very important, difference.
Quotes and Articles
- Comments on jargon and public language
- See the Philosophy and Ideas behind non-discriminatory language
- Hate Speech Acts: social values: comments from Professor Katharine Gelber, University of Queensland.
Informal Language (Slang) (Unit 3 and Unit 4/Identities)
- Kate Burridge: Blooming English: (2002): A series of articles/chapters covers musings on Meaning shifts, language change, word creation and taboo language. “Blooming English re slang and jargon
Readings for Australian Identity (Unit 4)
- See Notes on Strine : The Australian Slanguage (Bill Hornadge): Hornadge’s articles provide examples of the changes to collquialisms and our accent.
- Comments from Lenie Johansen and Phillip Adams: The Penguin Book of Australian Slang: A Dinkum Guide to OZ English; This Dictionary by Johansen gives a limitless overview of Australian slang terms, many of which have become obsolete. Her introduction has numerous examples that are quotable in terms of our language and national identity. Also See Aussie English: our national differences: Lenie Johansen
- Dorothy Hewett’s play, This Old Man Comes Rolling Home, provides an entertaining portrait of a typical Australian family living in Redfern, Sydney in the 1950s. In her portrayal of the Dockerty family, Hewett captures a typical working class family’s Australian accent time. There are lots of examples of Aussie idioms and quotable linguistic mannerisms. Also provides an example of language change.
- David Crystal: re language change
See Notes for Child Language Acquisition – Noam Chomsky
- Return to: Essays and contemporary examples 2020 for language variation
- A range of commentaries (formal/informal/spoken/written)
- Return to our Welcome Page: Overview of English Works Notes and Resources