Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show

This is an enjoyable book that shows how word choice--how we talk about things--can really affect perception and understanding. I highly recommend it. I just love Nunberg.


Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism into a Tax-Raisi..., by Geoff Nunberg


From Publishers Weekly
Nunberg, a professor of linguistics and columnist for the New York Times, believes that Democrats are at a loss for words when it comes to the use of political language. As the Democrats feebly argue that they must "reframe" their arguments to reach voters, Nunberg (Going Nucular) believes that "what we have here is more than just a failure to communicate." Though conservatives have gained political ground using loaded terms such as "death tax" for estate tax, "climate change" for global warming and "hate speech" for any criticism of the president or fellow Republicans, their true triumph is more subtle, hijacking the "core vocabulary of American political discourse"-like "values" and "elite"-and using them to Republicans' exclusive advantage. Nunberg insists that liberals cannot model their strategy after GOP successes, though he offers little in the way of practical strategy. Though the phrase "politics of perception" has been overused-and therefore, as Nunberg might argue, rendered empty of meaning-Nunberg proves in this thoughtful, funny and rousing effort that the use and misuse of language is still of vital concern to the body politic.

Tags: conservatives, democrats, geoff nunberg, gop, language, liberals, linguistics, politics, republicans, speaking, More…talking, vocabulary, words, writing

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Replies to This Discussion

Yeah, and how about "death tax", too. He brings that up in the book. The book is not really humorous, just informative and insightful. But I think you would enjoy it. Nunberg writes well, of course.
You and me both. That book does sound interesting. Please consider posting a discussion thread about it.

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