The Doubter's Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense
The Doubter's Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense0 0 5 Höfundur: John Ralston Saul
But as John Ralston Saul argues in this decidedly unorthodox book, modern dictionaries have once again been captured by the forces of orthodoxy—albeit this time a rationalist orthodoxy. Our language has become as predictable, fragmented, and rhetorical as it was in the 18th century, divided as it is by special interest groups into dialects of expertise that are hermetically sealed off and inaccessible to citizens. In The Doubter's Companion, a marvelous subversive contribution to the great 18th century tradition of the humanist dictionary, Saul skewers and discredits the accepted content of common terms like Advertising, Academics, and Air Conditioning (defined as "an efficient means for spreading disease in enclosed public spaces"); Cannibal, Conservative, and Croissant; Dandruff, Death, and Dictionary ("opinions presented as truth in alphabetical order"); and several hundred others, including Biography ("a respectable form of pornography"), Museum ("safe storage for stolen objects"), and Manners ("people are always splendid when they're dead").
There is much in this volume that will stimulate, offend, provoke, perplex, and entertain. But Saul deploys these tactics of guerilla lexicography to advance the more serious purpose of reclaiming public language from the stultifying dialects of modern expertise.
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