Tuesday, January 04, 2011

What is Ralph Keyes reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Ralph Keyes, author of Euphemania: Our Love Affair with Euphemisms.

The entry begins:
I recently read, and loved Room. By being able to capture the distinctive voice of a unique five-year-old and have him tell a riveting story Emma Donoghue has created a literary tour de force. Winter’s Bone is another captivating novel, especially when the author lets his Ozark characters tell their story in their own voice. (When he describes the terrain in elaborate language apparently meant to impress fellow alums of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Daniel Woodrell’s book lags.) I just finished Amos Oz’s memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness which has moments of great insight and some powerfully written passages, but..[read on]
Among the early praise for Euphemania:
"If 'Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne,' as Quentin Crisp once said, then Ralph Keyes has given word and language lovers a deeply fragrant-and thoroughly enjoyable-book."
--Dr. Mardy Grothe, author of Oxymoronica and other quotation anthologies

"Whether you're looking for information or just browsing, Euphemania is a classic. It is beautifully written, uniformly delightful, and a pleasure to read. Keyes has spread a broad net and offers the tastiest morsels to his readers. I love this book!"
--Rosalie Maggio, author of How to Say It and The Art of Talking to Anyone

"Fascinating! If you think you already know how we human beings shape language to create the kind of relationships we want, wait until you read Euphemania. Ralph Keyes opens the reader to a new world of thoughtfulness, embarrassment, manipulation, and even criminality through euphemisms. While much of the book is just plain funny, one cannot help but develop a new respect for the complexity of our language and for our amazing inventiveness as we cope with every imaginable situation by avoiding the truth. An engrossing, amusing and highly informative read."
--Richard Farson, author of Management of the Absurd

"Keyes' treatment of our everyday attempts to ameliorate through language the unpleasantries of life is brilliant-and a great read."
--Tom Dalzell, author of The Slang of Sin and Flappers 2 Rappers

"The title of this smart new book, Euphemania, is no euphemism. Author Ralph Keyes is right: We are crazy about euphemisms. For good reasons and bad, euphemisms help us speak the unspeakable, describe what cannot, in decent society (if only we lived in one!), be described. Those are not rings of fat around my waist; that's my spare tire. Or, should you want to know me better, just grab my love handles. Hang on tight and we'll ride through the wise and witty work of a writer who handles his love for the language on every page."
--Roy Peter Clark, author of Writing Tools and The Glamour of Grammar
Learn more about the book and author at Ralph Keyes' website.

Writers Read: Ralph Keyes.

--Marshal Zeringue