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A Civil Tongue
by Edwin Newman
ISBN 0672522675 / 9780672522673 / 0-672-52267-5
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When Edwin Newman was but a lad, bright, cheery, and unbearable, he was told to keep a civil tongue in his head, i.e., shut up. He did, but since then he has expanded his understanding of what a civil tongue means. To him it means a language that is not bogged down in jargon, not studded with trick phrases, not weighed down with gelatinous verbiage of Washington and the social sciences. It is direct, specific, concrete, vigorous, colorful, subtle, and imaginative, and as lucid and eloquent as we are able to make it. A smog of jargon is settling on our fair land. Newman blows it away with sweet reason and sour comments. A Civil Tongue is high comedy in a serious cause. [via]