Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Filthy English

Filthy English
Filthy English: The How, Why, When, & What Of Everyday Swearing, by Peter Silverton, is yet another guide to the history of 'offensive' language. The book is divided thematically, as are Forbidden Words and Jonathon Green's Slang Down The Ages, as opposed to the word-by-word organisation of Dirty Words, Getting Off At Gateshead, and Hugh Rawson's Dictionary Of Invective. (An Encyclopedia Of Swearing contains entries on themes and individual words.)

Filthy English is useful for its contemporary examples, though it is slightly anecdotal in tone. Silverton has conducted substantial research [he cites my website as an "extensive source"], and he has also interviewed writers and performers about their attitudes to the words he discusses, though there are no footnotes.

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