Language – The Loaded Weapon The Use and Abuse of Language Today
First published in 1980 and now reissued for the first time as a Routledge Linguistics Classic, Language – The Loaded Weapon is at once an introduction to and a critique of everything we know, or think we know, about language.
This classic text explains in simple terms the essentials of linguistic form and meaning, and applies them to illuminate questions touching on issues related to: correctness; truth; class and dialect; manipulation through advertising and propaganda; sexual and other discrimination; and official obfuscation and the maintenance of power. Bolinger notes that our deepest societal problems are entangled with language, raising questions such as: What kind of English should be taught, or should there be no standard at all? What are the verbal persuasions of technology doing to our children? Which way does information flow, what are its biases, when does it inform and when conceal, and who benefits? Are the people who consider themselves experts in these matters as expert as they pretend to be? In this seminal work, Bolinger addresses all of these concerns in a way which remains as relevant to us today as it was when it was first written.
With a new foreword by James Paul Gee, situating and contextualising the text in the present day, this book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in understanding how language has shaped the world we live in.
Dwight Bollinger was the recipient of the George Orwell Award from the National Council of Teachers of English in 1981 for Language -The Loaded Weapon.