Short Cuts: A Guide to Oaths, Ring Tones, Ransom Notes, Famous Last Words, and Other Forms of…

Hardcover | June 2, 2015

byAlexander Humez

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Our everyday lives are inevitably touched - and immeasurably enriched-by an extraordinary variety of miniature forms of verbal communication, from classified ads to street signs, and from yesterday's graffito to tomorrow's headline. Celebrating our long history of compact speech, Short Cutsoffers a well-researched and vibrantly written account of this unsung corner of the linguistic world, inspiring a new appreciation of the wondrously varied forms of our briefest exchanges.Alexander Humez, Nicholas Humez, and Rob Flynn here shed light on an ever-growing field of minimalist genres, ranging from the bank robbery note to the billboard, from the curse hurled from a car window (or the Senate floor) to the suicide note, and from the ghost-word to the ring tone. The book isdivided into ten sections, such as "In the Dictionary" (discussing such topics as the Wiktionary, Dords, Sniglets, and Mountweazels), "In and Out of Trouble" (error messages, weasel words, the pre-nup), and "On the Lam" (ransom notes, wanted posters, APBs). The authors look at the comic strip'smaladicta balloon and the dinner-interrupter's robocalls, the advice column and the obit, and the many ways your personal appearance tells us who you are, from the message on your gimme cap to the tattoo with your S.O.'s name on your ankle. Uncovering the elegance, the humor, and the unspokenimplications in these fleeting communications, this book provides a satisfying thoroughness and an abundance of connections that unravel how the oath became the swearword and the calling card morphed into the tweet. And of course, no treatment of short-form communication would be complete withoutinvestigating the structures, components, and etiquette of instant messaging. For readers who love language and enjoy rummaging through the cultural baggage that comes with it, Short Cuts gathers an engaging sampler of the most delightful and cogent--and above all brief--forms of contemporary English.

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From the Publisher

Our everyday lives are inevitably touched - and immeasurably enriched-by an extraordinary variety of miniature forms of verbal communication, from classified ads to street signs, and from yesterday's graffito to tomorrow's headline. Celebrating our long history of compact speech, Short Cutsoffers a well-researched and vibrantly written...

Alexander Humez holds a Ph.D. in Indo-European Linguistics. He has authored or co-authored both trade and reference books, including collaborations with his brother such as On the Dot, Latin for People, Alpha to Omega, A B C Et Cetera, and Zero to Lazy Eight (with J. Maguire). Nicholas Humez, in addition to the above collaborations, i...

other books by Alexander Humez

Latin for People / Latina Pro Populo: Latina Pro Populo_(paper)
Latin for People / Latina Pro Populo: Latina Pro Populo...

Paperback|Jul 30 1978

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Zero to Lazy Eight: The Romance Numbers
Zero to Lazy Eight: The Romance Numbers

Paperback|Aug 5 1994

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:June 2, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195389131

ISBN - 13:9780195389135

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Table of Contents

A Quick Tour of the ParkIn the DictionaryIn the Eye of the BeholderIn Your FaceIn and Out of TroubleOn the PhoneOn the LamOn or About Your PersonIn the NewsIn the MailAt the End of the Day