Hatchet Jobs and Hardball: The Oxford Dictionary of American Political Slang 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Each entry contains part of speech, definition, and citations from a range of sources. Other elements that may be included are an etymology, a field label identifying the group or subculture that generally uses the term (for example, Mil. for military), variant forms, usage labels, cross-references, and notes. Much of the slang recorded here is indeed lively and clever. A prepared response to an opponent's anticipated assertion is a prebuttle. A red-headed Eskimo is a bill so precisely targeted that it might benefit only one specific person. A twinkie is someone or something that is appealing but lacking in substance. Velcroid applies to a person who seeks to advance by associating with a more important person. A clothespin vote is one that is cast unenthusiastically for a choice regarded as least objectionable. The idea is "that voters must use a clothespin to protect their noses from the supposed stench of such candidates."
By no means the least interesting part of the dictionary is the series of eight brief essays on topics (such as chads and the -gate suffix) about which Barrett felt compelled to comment at somewhat greater length than his definitions, notes, and etymologies permitted. This is a book to be read and enjoyed, not merely to be taken down from the shelf now and then and briefly consulted, and it is recommended for public and academic libraries. Harold Cordry
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
- Publisher : Oxford University Press; 1st Edition (September 10, 2004)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0195176855
- ISBN-13 : 978-0195176858
- Item Weight : 1.27 pounds
- Dimensions : 9.3 x 1.2 x 6.1 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,468,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I must admit that I know Barrett, and some of my work can be found here as the earliest citations for "beep" and "John Q. Public" and more.
With respect to the "Windy City" comments below, this is not a book of regional political slang. There are many thousands of short-lived, localized political words and phrases and nicknames. To record them all would be exhausting, probably impossible and probably pointless. This is a national book, intended for a modern audience.
Barrett has used the latest word-searching technology (Pro Quest Historical Newspapers and NewspaperArchive, for example) that has been available only in the past year. The book's citations are exhaustive and up-to-date, the best that can be found.
The book is clearly laid out and easy to flip through. It does what it promises to do, and for that receives four stars.
Only a "piebiter" could ask for more. Look it up!
There is an introduction by the dynamic duo, James Carville and Mary Matalin, followed by a brief "guide" to the dictionary and 8 brief essays regarding politics before one gets to the actual dictionary. It is a phenomenal and handy book to have!
I love it and carry it with my in my bag all the time!
Treating this dictionary more like a book on the history of Americas adopted language...Helped intrigued me more by illustrating clearly a comedy, a weakness, and a immaturity the states exhibit with brut force. The book didn't help solve my problem, but did give me a sense of enlightenment and understanding on how to handle my American clients next time. Much like my teenagers, I will show them unconditional love, but I'll have to wait until they grow up to give them more responsibilities.
Nothing more appealing then the words "Oxford", "American", and "Slang" for the cover. For me, the title "Hatchet Jobs And Hardball" is awful and misleading.