Monday, May 15, 2006

New Book - Unspeak

Steven Poole
Little Brown & Co, 2006, 306.44 POO

Defining its supject as a "mode of speech that persuades by stealth", Unspeak is a book about language as a weapon. Every day, we are bombarded with those apparently simple words or phrases that actually conceal darker meanings. For any government or organization seeking to exert power over a society, connecting with the general public and seeking to influence or even manipulate them is a vital task. Within a democratic society, the use of language is the most powerful tool for achieving this task, whether by a government seeking support for a policy or by a company seeking consumption of a product. Providing on the front cover of the book the terms "climate change", "war on terror" and "ethnic cleansing" as examples of unspeak, Steven Poole traces the globalizing wave of modern unspeak from culture wars to the culture of war, and reveals how everyday words are changing the way we think.

Read a review of Unspeak by Tony Blair's former communications director Alistair Campbell in The Guardian Newspaper.

Steven Poole continues his work in Unspeak through his regularly updated Unspeak blog.

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