How to be Good With Words

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In recent decades the contested areas of English usage have grown both larger and more numerous. We may argue rather less frequently than was once the case over issues of grammar and usage. But we argue more frequently than ever overwhether to use man or humanity , fisher or fisherman ; whether to say Indians or Native Peoples (or First Nations , or Chippewa or Cree or Snuneymuxw , as the case may be); whether to speak of a person being disabled , or challenged , or differently abled ; whether it's acceptable to say that's so gay . These are all issues that some would lump together as controversies of political correctness (itself in some ways a problematic expression). Certainly they are all issues that involve ethics as well as the conventions of grammar or of English usage - though they are often intimately intertwined with those conventions.

This volume offers a concise and user-friendly guide to these large issues. Can we use language in ways that avoid giving expression to prejudices embedded within it? Can the words we use help us point a way towards a better world? Can we take these issues with appropriate seriousness while remaining open-minded - and still retaining our sense of humor? To all these questions this little book answers yes, while offering clear-headed discussions of many of the key issues.

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Broadview Press Ltd
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