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Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2009 / Paperback
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Deception and "spin" have become hallmarks of public discourse in our consumer-driven, politically charged society. How can we preserve the vitality and integrity of the written and spoken word? Offering 12 "strategies of stewardship," McEntyre reflects on the complexities of truth telling, importance of challenging lies, art of conversation, place of playfulness, and more. 176 pages, softcover from Eerdmans.
Marilyn Chandler McEntyre is a fellow of the Gaede Institute of Liberal Arts at Westmont College, Carmichael, California. She writes frequently for Weavings and her other publications include Christ, My Companion and The Color of Light.
Concern for the abuse, misuse, inflation, and depletion of language is by no means new. Indeed, Orwell and Steiner both issued warnings on the topic linking the state of language to dominant political agendas which may seem strangely prophetic to contemporary Americans. In Caring for the Word, Marilyn Chandler McEntyres reflections on public discourse begin with similar concerns and then move into possible solutions.
McEntyre begins by inviting readers to recognize the forces that affect language in America culture. She examines the many ways in which commercial and political special interests have co-opted and expropriated language, leading to widely tolerated forms of deception and spin. She then offers twelve strategies of stewardship for those concerned with preserving the vitality and precision of the spoken and written word. These strategies include reflections on the complexities of truth telling, the importance of challenging lies, the art of conversation, and the importance of playfulness.
Drawing on a wide range of sources both critical and literary Caring for the Word is addressed not solely to academics or professionals, but to all thoughtful users of language in an attempt to remind them of its essential character as a gift and a calling.
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