When the Sex Pistols swore live on tea-time telly in 1976, there was outrage across Britain. Headlines screamed. Christians marched. TVs were kicked in. Thirty years on, all those words are media-mainstream - bandied about with impunity on TV and in the papers. This is the story of our bad language and its three-decade journey from the fringes of decency to the working centre of a more linguistically liberal nation. Silverton takes a clear, comprehensive and witty look at swearing and the impact of its new acceptability on our language, our manners and our society. He considers how we have become more openly emotional, yet more wary about insulting others. And how it's seemingly become alright to say **** and **** but not ****** or ****. This is the story of that cultural revolution, written by one who was there at the start, proudly striking some of the first blows in the long struggle for the right to reclaim filthy English and use it.
Two weeks before her wedding, Remi Montague's fiancé drops her faster than a drunken sorority girl in stilettos. Armed with her best friend and a bottle of tequila, she hops a plane to London to drown her sorrows before fall semester begins at Whitman University. She didn't plan on attending a masquerade party. She sure didn't plan on waking up next to the British bad boy who broke her heart three years ago--the devastatingly handsome and naked Dax Blay. Furthermore, she has no clue how they acquired matching tattoos.
These short stories mark the start of a brilliant and black literary career. A dog who stars in bestial pornographic movies describes the slippery slope towards aniseed addiction in 'Fur and Skin'. 'The Sylvan Life' is a story of rustling, hallucinogenic mushrooms and incest as they proliferate in the New Forest. In 'Spring and Fall' a rich and childless woman offers a sybaritic young boy a clandestine family life which becomes his downfall. The most extraordinary circumstances combine to provide the perfect alibi for a homosexual 'crime passionnel' in 'Oh So Bent', 'The Brute's Price' demonstrates the inadvertent steps an innocent man may take in bringing himself under suspicion of heinous murders on Portland. An injection of the criminal element into the pretensions of suburban Surrey provides the squalid drama of 'Rhododendron Gulch'. In the title story a relentlessly pedantic urge of a lexicographer to discover why his surname is a slang word for 'foot' leads him to a nightmarish revelation. Jonathan Meades has a black imagination. Not content with disarming his readers an outrageous premise, he continues to tease their curiosity from one end of each story to the other. His is
A string of long-lost and cursed rubies gives the title to this highly imaginative tale. Jacquiz Helmut and Balbo Blakeney, among other eccentric characters, pursue the jewels across four countries and eight centuries. Horror, intrigue and high comedy shape the story as it races towards an unforgettable climax.
Experience the beginning of the Tripods’ reign in this prequel to the classic alien trilogy ideal for fans of Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave and Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Shadow Children series. When it comes to alien invasions, bad things come in threes. Three landings: one in England, one in Russia, and one in the United States. Three long legs, crushing everything in their paths, with three metallic arms, snacking out to embrace—and then discard—their helpless victims. Three evil beings, called Tripods, which will change life on Earth forever.
This is not a comprehensive study of every sexual quirk, kink and ritual across all cultures throughout time, as that would entail writing an encyclopaedia. Rather, this is a drop in the ocean, a paddle in the shallow end of sex history, but I hope you will get pleasantly wet nonetheless. The act of sex has not changed since people first worked out what went where, but the ways in which society dictates how sex is culturally understood and performed have varied significantly through the ages. Humans are the only creatures that stigmatise particular sexual practices, and sex remains a deeply divisive issue around the world. Attitudes will change and grow – hopefully for the better – but sex will never be free of stigma or shame unless we acknowledge where it has come from. Based on the popular research project Whores of Yore, and written with her distinctive humour and wit, A Curious History of Sex draws upon Dr Kate Lister’s extensive knowledge of sex history. From medieval impotence tests to twentieth-century testicle thefts, from the erotic frescoes of Pompeii, to modern-day sex doll brothels, Kate unashamedly roots around in the pants of history, debunking myths, challenging stereotypes and generally getting her hands dirty. This fascinating book is peppered with surprising and informative historical slang, and illustrated with eye-opening, toe-curling and meticulously sourced images from the past. You will laugh, you will wince and you will wonder just how much has actually changed.
Almost everyone swears, or worries about not swearing, from the two year-old who has just discovered the power of potty mouth to the grandma who wonders why every other word she hears is obscene. Whether they express anger or exhilaration, are meant to insult or to commend, swear words perform a crucial role in language. But swearing is also a uniquely well-suited lens through which to look at history, offering a fascinating record of what people care about on the deepest levels of a culture--what's divine, what's terrifying, and what's taboo. Holy Sh*t tells the story of two kinds of swearing--obscenities and oaths--from ancient Rome and the Bible to today. With humor and insight, Melissa Mohr takes readers on a journey to discover how "swearing" has come to include both testifying with your hand on the Bible and calling someone a *#$&!* when they cut you off on the highway. She explores obscenities in ancient Rome--which were remarkably similar to our own--and unearths the history of religious oaths in the Middle Ages, when swearing (or not swearing) an oath was often a matter of life and death. Holy Sh*t also explains the advancement of civility and corresponding censorship of language in the 18th century, considers the rise of racial slurs after World War II, examines the physiological effects of swearing (increased heart rate and greater pain tolerance), and answers a question that preoccupies the FCC, the US Senate, and anyone who has recently overheard little kids at a playground: are we swearing more now than people did in the past? A gem of lexicography and cultural history, Holy Sh*t is a serious exploration of obscenity--and it also just might expand your repertoire of words to choose from the next time you shut your finger in the car door.
The spirit of Don Quixote burnishes the six main characters of this novel that begins with the arrival of North Americans Kyle and Carmen Daly in Central America. The two settle within a civilization awash, into a culture termed indistinct even by those who exploit it. Their adventure entangles them. They are trapped between an on-rush of modern values and those of the archaic Maya, whose descendents — outcast by the society of which they form the bulwark — remain steadfast in chivalric beliefs. As unwitting abettors to religious, social and economic bigotry patronized by U.S. missionaries, embassy staff, cable television ministries and businessmen mate–seekers, along with a cadre of Hispanic adoption attorneys and U.S. citizen wannabe’s, Kyle and Carmen attempt to stand upon the principals of their lineage: Right and Wrong. From this moral basis they try to manage the skirmishes of child theft, adultery, assassination, murder and revenge into which they are drawn. They find themselves within a Quixotic menagerie. Their embroilment, both comic and tragic, becomes, at best, a tenuous legacy. Through intricate plotting, The Quixote Imbroglio examines the melding of Spaniard and Indian cultures — today imaginable as an emerging solidarity at once catalyzed by, and complicated by, that third founding culture of the New World: the dogmatic Northamerican colonist.