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Political Correctness: A History of Semantics and Culture (Language Library)

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Political Correctness: A History of Semantics and Culture (Language Library) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Political Correctness is now an everyday phrase and part of the modern mindset. Everyone thinks they know what it means, but its own meaning constantly shifts. Its surprising origins have led to it becoming integrated into contemporary culture in ways that are both idealistic and ridiculous. Originally grounded in respect for difference and sensitivity to suffering, it has often become a distraction and even a silencer of genuine issues, provoking satire and parody. In this carefully researched, thought-provoking book, Geoffrey Hughes examines the trajectory of political correctness and its impact on public life. 

Exploring the origins, progress, content, and style of PC, Hughes’ journey leads us through authors as diverse as Chaucer, Shakespeare and Swift; Philip Larkin, David Mamet, and J.M. Coetzee; from nursery rhymes to Spike Lee films. Focusing on the historical, semantic, and cultural aspects of political correctness, this outstanding and unique work will intrigue anyone interested in this ongoing debate.

Synopsis:

In this carefully researched, thought-provoking book, Geoffrey Hughes examines the trajectory of political correctness and its impact on public life. Focusing on the historical, semantic, and cultural aspects of political correctness, it will intrigue anyone interested in this ongoing debate.
  • A unique and intriguing journey through the trajectory of political correctness and its impact on public life, focusing on the historical, semantic, and cultural aspects of what PC means
  • Explores the origins, progress, content and style of political correctness, discussing and analyzing around one hundred terms and lexical formations, from Chaucer and Shakespeare, Marlowe and Swift, to nursery rhymes, rap and Spike Lee films, David Mamet, J. M. Coetzee and Philip Larkin
  • Offers a detailed semantic analysis of the way that key words have been exploited both to advance the agendas of political correctness and to refute them

About the Author

Geoffrey Hughes graduated from Oxford, was an Honorary Research Associate at Harvard, and is Emeritus Professor of the History of the English Language at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He is the author of An Encyclopedia of Swearing (2006), A History of English Words (Wiley-Blackwell, 2000), Swearing: A Social History of Foul Language, Oaths and Profanity in English (1998), and Words in Time (1988). He is currently Honorary Research Associate at the University of Cape Town.

Table of Contents

Preface viii

Acknowledgments xii

Epigraphs xiii

Part I Political Correctness and its Origins 1

Chapter 1 Defining Political Correctness 3

Chapter 2 The Origins and the Debate 60

Part II The Semantic Aspect 85

Chapter 3 Words and Authorities: Dictionaries and Lexicographers 87

Chapter 4 The Evolution of the Word Field 106

Part III Zones of Controversy 113

Chapter 5 Issues of Race, Nationality, and Difference 115

Chapter 6 Agendas Old and New 178

Part IV Cultural and Historical Issues 215

Chapter 7 Political Correctness in the Past 217

Chapter 8 Culture 236

Conclusion: The Right Thing to Do? Progressive Orthodoxy, Empty Convention or Double Standard? 283

Bibliography 298

Author and Subject Index 309

Word Index 317

Product Details

ISBN:
9781405152792
Author:
Hughes, Geoffrey
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell
Subject:
Communication and culture
Subject:
Semantics
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Language Arts & Disciplines
Subject:
political correctness, censorship, free speech, hate speech, identity politics, feminism, racism
Subject:
General & Introductory Linguistics
Subject:
General-General
Subject:
Linguistics
Copyright:
Series:
Language Library
Series Volume:
24
Publication Date:
20110919
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.90x5.90x.80 in. 1.05 lbs.

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Nursing
History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology
History and Social Science » Linguistics » General
History and Social Science » Linguistics » Psycholinguistics
Humanities » Philosophy » General

Political Correctness: A History of Semantics and Culture (Language Library) New Trade Paper
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Product details 336 pages Wiley-Blackwell - English 9781405152792 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this carefully researched, thought-provoking book, Geoffrey Hughes examines the trajectory of political correctness and its impact on public life. Focusing on the historical, semantic, and cultural aspects of political correctness, it will intrigue anyone interested in this ongoing debate.
  • A unique and intriguing journey through the trajectory of political correctness and its impact on public life, focusing on the historical, semantic, and cultural aspects of what PC means
  • Explores the origins, progress, content and style of political correctness, discussing and analyzing around one hundred terms and lexical formations, from Chaucer and Shakespeare, Marlowe and Swift, to nursery rhymes, rap and Spike Lee films, David Mamet, J. M. Coetzee and Philip Larkin
  • Offers a detailed semantic analysis of the way that key words have been exploited both to advance the agendas of political correctness and to refute them
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