On Cussing
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On Cussing : Bad Words and Creative Cursing

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Description

F uck the Fuckity Fuckin' Fucker. Readers of Katherine Dunn won't be surprised that this was her father's favorite sentence, or that, as a young girl, she heard it as a kind of profane poem, a secret song. For many of us, the language of Geek Love carries a similar staying power, born of Dunn's agile use of language and her strange, beautiful diction. And as a true exegete of the expletive, she remained undividedly devoted to obscenity--both as scholar and practitioner.

In On Cussing, Dunn sketches a brief history of swear words and creates something of a field guide to their types and usages, from the common threat ("I'll squash you like a shithouse mouse") to the portmanteau intensifier ("Fan-fucking-tastic"). But she also explores their physiology--the physical impact on the reader or listener--and makes an argument for how and when to cuss with maximum effect. Equal parts informative and hilarious, this volume will delight Dunn's legion of fans, but it's also a must-have for anyone looking to more successfully wield their expletives, be it in writing or in everyday speech.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 64 pages
  • 114 x 157 x 8mm | 73g
  • United States
  • English
  • 1947793268
  • 9781947793262

Review quote

[Dunn's prose is] a pyrotechnic medium so far removed from our workaday speech that it feels unfair and inaccurate to call that fire-language 'English.'--Karen Russell
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