-There is a simple way we can be part of the shift toward a less judgmental linguistic future: instead of acting crotchety and pedantic toward new language trends, we can feel curious and fascinated by them. Whenever we get the urge to criticize women or anyone else … for a certain dialect feature, we can remember to think like a linguist, reminding ourselves that systematic speech patterns are almost never mindless or stupid. Believing that only reinforces a screwed-up linguistic standard.
— Amanda Montell, Wordslut
Bold, brash, unapologetic. Laden with words that have been contorted through time to prevent women gaining equality.
Laurence Bouvard reads the Australian version with aplomb. The humour is rife throughout, the tricky linguistic gymnastics land and I felt like I was in a conversation, not a lecture.
Montell packs a punch with her informative yet approachable writing. No barbs are held back, no apologies are given. This is feminist academia for the modern person.
For centuries, language has morphed, splintered and gone a long way in holding women back from gaining equality.
Montell deconstructs language with research from history books through to pop culture, to reveal its power and poison.
You’ll read about gendered insults, cursing, alternate names for genitalia and how women and men can can embrace language to reshape gender narratives.
w o w … easily one of my fave books of the year. I believe everyone should read this — friends, family, colleagues and cat-callers.
Reading this book made me equal parts mad and uplifted. Above all, it made me better informed. This is the kind of book that does not go quietly into the night. It is loud, proud and unrelenting, although rarely accusatory. Linguistics, to paraphrase Montell, isn’t about correcting but observing how language changes through time.
Montell’s writing makes the subject matter feel like everyday conversation and makes me feel like I can have a personal effect on how language is shaped in my own world.
I recommend this book with a thousand yassss’s. (If you know, you know.)
What to expect
Chocolate for word nerds⠀
An empowering, patriarchy-smashing, mind-blowing read
Fable and Fizz would like to acknowledge the Whadjuck Noongar people as the traditional owners and continual custodians on the lands and waters this content is primarily written on. I pay respects to their Elders — past and present. This always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.