War words have embedded themselves in our collective psyche; British politicians are fond of invoking the 'Dunkirk spirit' whenever the country is faced with major crisis or even minor adversity, and Roosevelt's famous description of Pearl Harbor as 'a date which will live in infamy' was echoed by many US commentators after the 9/11 attacks. So far, so familiar. Or is it? How many of us know, for instance, that 'Keep Calm and Carry On', far from achieving its morale-boosting aim, was considered at the time to be deeply patronizing by the people it was directed at, and so had only limited distribution? The Word at War explores 100 phrases spawned and popularized in the lead-up and during the conflict of World War Two. Substantial essays explore and explain the derivations of, and the stories behind, popular terms and phraseology of the period, including wartime speeches (and the words of Churchill, Hitler and FDR); service slang; national stereotypes; food and drink; and codewords.
Co-written by two Oxford graduates, one a former German teacher, this book contains an extraordinary variety of information often only tangentially linked to German, French and English war-inspired phrases. Look here to find the spoof lyrics to the Horst Wessel Lied, to discover which countries eat the most spam (yes, Guam is among them…) and the meaning of ‘getting yourself called Arthur’. Coded language is tackled along with service slang, wartime speeches and propaganda, and there are six fascinating pages on the history and etymology of the Swastika, including the story of its appearance on Alan Coren’s book Golfing for Cats!
Publication date: 25/09/2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
|Publication date:||25th September 2014|
|Author:||Philip Gooden, Peter Lewis|
|Publisher:||Bloomsbury Publishing PLC|
|Categories:||Second World War, Language: history & general works, 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000,|
Philip Gooden is author of the acclaimed Who's Whose? and Faux Pas, has written several novels and taught English at secondary level for many years. Peter Lewis is an experienced reference publisher.More About Philip Gooden, Peter Lewis