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Forbidden Words


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Table of Contents

List of figures; Acknowledgements; 1. Taboos and their origins; 2. Sweet talking and offensive language; 3. Bad language? Jargon, slang, swearing and insult; 4. The language of political correctness; 5. Linguistic purism and verbal hygiene; 6. Taboo, naming and addressing; 7. Sex and bodily effluvia; 8. Food and smell; 9. Disease, death and killing; 10. Taboo, censoring and the human brain; Notes; References; Index.

Promotional Information

This 2006 book examines how we use language to swear, to insult, and also to be politically correct.

About the Author

Keith Allan is Reader in Linguistics and Convenor of the Linguistics Program at Monash University. Kate Burridge is Chair of Linguistics at Monash University.


' ... accessible and wide-ranging publication ... this is a thoroughly engaging and fascinating book, written with brio and humour.' Journal of Politeness Research

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