Non-Fiction Books:

Secret Language

Codes, Tricks, Spies, Thieves, and Symbols

Format

Paperback / softback

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Secret Language by Barry J. Blake
$49.99
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Description

This book is about language that is designed to mean what it does not seem to mean. Ciphers and codes conceal messages and protect secrets. Symbol and magic hide meanings to delight or imperil. Languages made to baffle and confuse let insiders talk openly without being understood by those beyond the circle. Barry Blake looks at these and many more. He explores the history and uses of the slangs and argots of schools and trades. He traces the centuries-old cants used by sailors and criminals in Britain, among them Polari, the mix of Italian, Yiddish, and slang once spoken among strolling players and circus folk and taken up by gays in the twentieth century. He examines the sacred languages of ancient cults and religions, uncovers the workings of onomancy, spells, and gematria, looks into the obliqueness of allusion and parody, and celebrates the absurdities of euphemism and jargon. Secret Language takes the reader on fascinating excursions down obscure byways of language, ranging across time and culture. With revelations on every page it will entertain anyone with an urge to know more about the most arcane and curious uses of language.

Author Biography

Barry Blake taught at La Trobe University for many years. He is an expert on all aspects of language and a well known authority on Australian Aboriginal languages. His most recent book, All About Language was published by Oxford University Press in 2008.
Release date NZ
July 7th, 2011
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Illustrations
Line Drawings, Tables
Imprint
Oxford University Press
Pages
342
Dimensions
130x191x27
ISBN-13
9780199691623
Product ID
10418623

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