240 pages | 14 B/W Illus.
The Business of Words examines the practices of 'high-end' language workers or wordsmiths where we find words being professionally designed, institutionally managed and, inevitably, objectified for status and profit.
Aligned with existing work on language and political economy in critical sociolinguistics and discourse studies, the volume offers a novel, complementary insight into the relatively elite practices of language workers such as advertisers, dialect coaches, publishers, judges, translators, public relations officers, fine artists, journalists – and linguists themselves. In fact, the book considers what academics might learn about language from other wordsmiths, opening a space for ‘dialogue’ between those researching language and those who also stake a claim to linguistic expertise and a way with words.
Bringing together an array of leading international scholars from the cognate fields of discourse studies, sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, this book is an essential resource for researchers,advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students of English Language, Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Communication and Media Studies, and Anthropology.
In 1956, the French philologist Marcel Cohen suggested that language practices could usefully be understood as a form of work. Finally, decades later, we have a volume which takes up this idea seriously, exploring what language work/language as work tells us about questions of value, the social construction of reality, and social inequality in contemporary conditions. You won’t look at a keyboard – or a pen – the same way after you have read this book.
Monica Heller, Editor of the Journal of Sociolinguistics
This pioneering volume on the production of high-end wordsmithery explores previously unengaged aspects of the political economy of language. In detailed examinations of the work of journalists, PR writers, marketers, linguists, and others, we see their word-craft in ways that clarify their critical and often invisible roles as semiotic brokers.
Bonnie Urciuoli, Hamilton College (Emeritus), USA
List of Contributors
Chapter 1 – Crispin Thurlow
The (Grubby) Business of Words: What ‘George Clooney’ Tells Us
Part 1: Language Work and the Business of Words
Chapter 2 – Alexandre Duchêne
Unequal Language Work(ers) in the Business of Words
Chapter 3 – Helen Kelly-Holmes
The Linguistic Business of Marketing
Part 2: Wordsmiths and Professional Language Work
Chapter 4 – Geert Jacobs
Unwriteable Discourse? Co-crafting the Language of Science News
Chapter 5 – Crispin Thurlow and David Britain
Voice Work: Learning About and From Dialect Coaches
Chapter 6 – Adam Jaworski
EAT, LOVE and Other (Small) Stories: Tellability and Multimodality in Robert Indiana’s Word Art
Chapter 7 – Bronwen Innes
Judges as Wordsmiths: Crafting Clarity and Neutrality in Summing-up for Juries
Chapter 8 – Jamie Moshin and Crispin Thurlow
Making (up) the News: The Artful Language Work of Journalists in ‘Reporting’ Taboo
Part 3: Linguists and Political Economies of Expertise
Chapter 9 – Alexandra Jaffe
Framing Elite Knowledge in Shifting Linguistic Economies: The Case of Minority Language Translation
Chapter 10 – Felictas Macgilchrist
Beyond the Academic ‘But’: The Pleasures and Politics of Collaborative Language Work in the Publishing Industry
Chapter 11 – Enam Al Wer & Maria Fanis
The Commercialisation of Linguistic Expertise in the Asylum Vetting Process
Chapter 12 – Elana Shohamy
Engaging with School Principals as Language Policy Workers