Filthy English: The How, Why, When And What of Everyday Swearing

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9781846271694: Filthy English: The How, Why, When And What of Everyday Swearing

A frank, funny, and provocative journey through the international culture of swearing, from the shocked seventies to the naughty noughties For decades the most offensive word in the English language began with an F, then some ****s decided that it began with a C—although these days to really offend people you need to use the N word. This popular history traces how, when, and why this transition and others like it have occurred, and their significance. It also explores when and why English speakers moved from blasphemy to sexual swear words, and such other questions as Are racial insults the last remaining no-go area? Why do mother insults cut so deep in the Mediterranean? And who gives a **** anyway? Considering the cultural nuances of profane language, this book offers a witty look at swearing and the impact of its new acceptability on language, manners, and society.

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About the Author:

Peter Silverton has been a journalist for 30 years. He started as features editor at Sounds in 1976, covered punk, went on the Anarchy tour bus with the Sex Pistols and Clash, and later wrote Glen Matlock's autobiography, I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol. He has also worked as an editor at the Guardian, the Mail on Sunday, the Sunday Express, and Time Out.

Review:

"Enormously enjoyable. . . . Every page offers curious facts and ideas and one is left with amazement at the vast profane creativity at work in the unique human project of language."  —Observer



"With likeable digressiveness, Silverton chases down etymologies, charts changing standards of taste . . . The chapters on swearing in pop music, and on racist epithets are particularly good."  —Guardian

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