Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Booknote: Spinglish

Henry Beard and Christopher Cerf, Spinglish: the Definitive Dictionary of Deliberately Deceptive Language. New York: Blue Rider Press, 2015. 

Genre: nonfiction
Subgenre: humor, reference, dictionaries
Format: e-book galley
Source: NetGalley

As the book's cover states, this book helps you "succeed in business (and politics and everything else) without really lying." This dictionary is basically your guide to deceptive language and spin for when you need to lie, but you technically can't be caught lying. This is a book where you will laugh at times at the creativity of the spin, and other times you will just be amazed by how those in power shamelessly use language to deceive and still technically not really lie; we are talking some serious stretching of the truth at times.

The book is set up in two parts. It is a bilingual dictionary if you will. One part has the deceptive words with a translation into regular English. The other part is from regular English to spin language. So when you hear business men and politicians use terms like downsizing (i.e. people are getting laid off), you will know what they really mean. The authors do provide sourcing for the definitions as much as possible telling you where a word was first used or who spun that particular phrase. So, even though this is meant to be a humorous work, it actually serves a very serious work on modern spin language.

This is one I strongly liked, and one I will add to my reference shelf as soon as I get a chance. I highly recommend it for all libraries; this should be on libraries' reference shelves, and I am sure it will make a good resource for discussions in politics, business, communications, and other areas.

5 out 5 stars.

This book qualifies for the following 2015 Reading Challenges:

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