About Language: A Reader for Writers by William Roberts, Gregoire Turgeon

By William Roberts, Gregoire Turgeon

The authors of approximately Language motivate scholars to take advantage of language extra responsibly of their personal writing. greater than 70 studying decisions disguise a vast diversity of concerns, together with cultural range, censorship, and gender. powerful help is supplied by way of a gap bankruptcy at the writing method; annotated desk of contents; bankruptcy introductions; choice headnotes, learn questions and writing assignments; end-of-chapter writing assignments and examine actions; and a word list of language and rhetorical phrases.

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Courtship involves ‘Giving the glad eye’ or ‘Making eyes at’; ‘Clapping eyes on someone’ may suggest an accidental but usually not altogether happy occurrence. You may ‘Shut your eyes to’ a demeanour or action you don’t want to make a fuss about, even though you can see that they are undesirable. The line goes on and on; especially on the need to make full use of your eyes, as in ‘He’s all eyes’, ‘He has eyes in the back of his head’ (or ‘needs eyes in the back of his head’). You may be ‘Up to your eyes in work’ but still have to ‘Keep your eyes well open’.

They form another group which has survived tenaciously, almost unchanged, throughout country-to-town movements. They survive in the urban metaphor-using consciousness, even more than horses or dogs. We have ‘dying ducks’, ‘lame ducks’, ‘playing ducks and drakes’; we speak of picking up, taking to, some skill ‘like a duck to water’, about rebukes having as much effect as ‘water off a duck’s back’, and of escape—from a personal challenge, it may be—by ‘ducking and diving’ (which could take its name from the constant up-anddown movement of a duck’s head).

The common if unspoken assumption among many people, better-endowed from birth, that on the whole the less-gifted among us sink, have already sunk, to the bottom and should be content there, is a comforting myth; nurture here counts for far more than nature. Many quite ungifted people born into the middle and upper classes stay where they are, buoyed-up by the safety-net resources of their groups. G. B. Shaw advised us not to forget that though few rise, some also fall. True, but they are even fewer than the risers.

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