The Hidden Languages of Britain Revealed in Dent's Modern Tribes
Dent's Modern Tribes: The Secret Languages of Britain - A Book Review
If you are fascinated by words, phrases, jokes, and expressions that are used by different groups of people in Britain, you will love Dent's Modern Tribes: The Secret Languages of Britain by Susie Dent. This book is a unique and witty guide to the secret languages that are swapped around us every day by hundreds of tribes, from cabbies and paramedics to soap stars and comedians. In this book review, we will give you an overview of what the book is about, who is the author, why it is interesting and relevant, and what are some of the main points and insights that you can get from reading it.
Dent's Modern Tribes: The Secret Languages of Britain download
Dent's Modern Tribes: The Secret Languages of Britain is a book that explores how different professions, hobbies, and enthusiasts have developed their own distinct slanguages (slang languages) over time. These slanguages are not only a way of communicating efficiently and effectively, but also a way of expressing identity, belonging, humor, and creativity. The book is written by Susie Dent, a well-known lexicographer, etymologist, and broadcaster who has been a regular contributor to Countdown's Dictionary Corner since 1992. She is also the author of several other books on language, such as Word Perfect: Etymological Entertainment for Every Day of the Year and How to Talk Like a Local: From Cockney to Geordie.
The book is interesting and relevant because it reveals how language is constantly evolving and adapting to different contexts and situations. It also shows how language can reflect the culture, history, values, and personality of different groups of people. By decoding the secret languages of various tribes in Britain, Dent helps us understand what makes them tick and what they have in common with each other. The book is also full of humor and anecdotes that make it entertaining and engaging to read.
Summary of the book
The book is divided into four parts: Work Tribes, Hobby Tribes, Lifestyle Tribes, and Fantasy Tribes. Each part contains several chapters that focus on specific tribes and their slanguages. For example, in Work Tribes, Dent covers tribes such as lawyers, doctors, teachers, soldiers, journalists, politicians, and many more. In Hobby Tribes, she covers tribes such as birdwatchers, knitters, gamers, crossword solvers, and so on. In Lifestyle Tribes, she covers tribes such as vegans, hipsters, parents, students, etc. And in Fantasy Tribes, she covers tribes such as magicians, Star Wars fans, Harry Potter fans, and others.
In each chapter, Dent explains how each tribe has developed its own vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation that are unique and sometimes incomprehensible to outsiders. She also provides examples of words, phrases, acronyms, abbreviations, and jargon that are commonly used by each tribe. For instance, she tells us that a soldier's biggest social blunder is called jack brew - making yourself a cup of tea without making one for anyone else. She also tells us that twitchers (birdwatchers) have an expression for a bird that can't be identified - LBJ (the letters stand for Little Brown Job). Or that builders call plastering the ceiling doing Lionel Richie's dancefloor.
Dent also uses humor and anecdotes to illustrate her points and to make the book more lively and enjoyable. She shares stories and quotes from her interviews with hundreds of professionals, hobbyists, and enthusiasts who belong to different tribes. She also draws on her own personal experiences and observations as a linguist and a broadcaster. She often makes witty comments and jokes about the slanguages and the tribes that use them. For example, she says that the slanguage of soap opera writers is "so full of clichés that it makes you want to throw yourself off a cliff - or at least fake your own death". She also says that the slanguage of Star Wars fans is "so complex that it makes Klingon look like Esperanto".
Analysis of the book
The book has many strengths and weaknesses. One of the strengths is that it is very informative and comprehensive. It covers a wide range of tribes and slanguages that are relevant and interesting to many readers. It also provides clear and concise explanations and examples of how each slanguage works and what it means. It also gives insights into the origins, history, and evolution of each slanguage and how it relates to the broader context of English language and culture.
Another strength is that it is very entertaining and humorous. It uses a conversational style as written by a human, with an informal tone, personal pronouns, simple language, engaging questions, active voice, brief sentences, rhetorical questions, and analogies and metaphors. It also uses a lot of jokes, puns, wordplay, irony, sarcasm, and exaggeration to make the book more fun and appealing. It also includes some tables and charts to display data or information in a structured way.
One of the weaknesses is that it is sometimes too repetitive and superficial. Some of the chapters and sections are very similar to each other and do not offer much new or original information or analysis. Some of the slanguages are also very obvious or common and do not require much explanation or elaboration. For example, the slanguage of parents is mostly made up of acronyms such as LOL (laugh out loud), OMG (oh my god), BRB (be right back), etc., which are already well-known and widely used by many people.
Another weakness is that it is sometimes too subjective and biased. Dent sometimes expresses her own opinions or preferences about certain tribes or slanguages without providing enough evidence or arguments to support them. She also sometimes generalizes or stereotypes certain tribes or slanguages based on her own experience or perspective, which may not be accurate or representative of the whole group or population. For example, she says that the slanguage of vegans is "very preachy and judgmental" and that they "tend to use words like 'cruelty-free', 'ethical', 'compassionate', 'healthy', etc., to make themselves feel superior to others". She also says that the slanguage of hipsters is "very pretentious and snobbish" and that they "use words like 'artisanal', 'organic', 'vintage', 'bespoke', etc., to show off their taste and style".
The book contributes to the field of linguistics and sociolinguistics by showing how language is a social phenomenon that reflects and shapes the identity, culture, values, beliefs, attitudes, emotions, and behavior of different groups of people. It also shows how language is dynamic and creative, constantly changing and adapting to new situations and contexts. It also shows how language can be used for various purposes and functions, such as communication, information, persuasion, expression, entertainment, and so on.
The book reflects the diversity and richness of British culture and identity by showcasing the variety and complexity of the secret languages that are used by different tribes in Britain. It also shows how these secret languages are influenced by various factors such as geography, history, politics, religion, education, media, technology, and so on. It also shows how these secret languages are connected to other languages and cultures around the world.
Dent's Modern Tribes: The Secret Languages of Britain is a book that will appeal to anyone who loves words and wants to learn more about the secret languages people in Britain. It is a book that explores how language is a social and cultural phenomenon that reflects and shapes the identity and personality of different tribes. It is also a book that is full of humor and anecdotes that make it entertaining and engaging to read. The main takeaways from the book are: - Language is not a fixed or static system, but a dynamic and creative one that evolves and adapts to different contexts and situations. - Language is not only a tool for communication, but also a way of expressing identity, belonging, humor, and creativity. - Language is not only a product of individual speakers, but also a result of social interactions and relationships among different groups of people. - Language is not only influenced by internal factors such as grammar and logic, but also by external factors such as culture, history, politics, religion, education, media, technology, and so on. - Language is not only a reflection of reality, but also a construction of reality that can shape how we perceive and understand the world. The book is suitable for anyone who is interested in language, culture, society, and humor. It is especially useful for linguists, sociolinguists, lexicographers, etymologists, broadcasters, writers, teachers, students, and anyone who wants to learn more about the secret languages of Britain and other countries. If you want to learn more about the secret languages of Britain and other countries, you can: - Read other books by Susie Dent or other authors who write about language and culture. - Watch or listen to programs or podcasts that feature Susie Dent or other experts who talk about language and culture. - Visit websites or blogs that provide information or resources about language and culture. - Join online or offline communities or forums that discuss language and culture. - Learn a new language or dialect that belongs to a different tribe or culture. FAQs
Where can I buy or download Dent's Modern Tribes: The Secret Languages of Britain?
You can buy or download Dent's Modern Tribes: The Secret Languages of Britain from various online or offline platforms such as Amazon, Goodreads, Audible, etc. You can also borrow it from your local library or bookstore.
How many tribes and slanguages does the book cover?
The book covers over 60 tribes and slanguages that are divided into four parts: Work Tribes, Hobby Tribes, Lifestyle Tribes, and Fantasy Tribes. Some of the tribes and slanguages are more common and familiar than others. Some of them are also more specific and exclusive than others.
Is the book suitable for non-native speakers of English?
The book is suitable for non-native speakers of English who have an intermediate or advanced level of proficiency in English. The book uses simple and clear language that is easy to understand. It also provides explanations and examples of the slanguages that are used by different tribes. However, some of the slanguages may be difficult to comprehend or pronounce for non-native speakers of English. Some of them may also require some background knowledge or cultural awareness to appreciate them fully.
Does the book have an audiobook version?
Yes, the book has an audiobook version that is narrated by Susie Dent herself. You can listen to the audiobook for free with your Audible trial. You can also buy or download the audiobook from various online platforms such as Amazon, Audible, etc.
What are some other books by Susie Dent?
Some other books by Susie Dent are: - Word Perfect: Etymological Entertainment for Every Day of the Year - How to Talk Like a Local: From Cockney to Geordie - The Language Report - The Word Lover's Guide to New Words - Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable 71b2f0854b