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  Julian Burnside's Wordwatching

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field notes from an amateur philologist

If we take Mr Burnside's article about Doublespeak as a guide, this book is likely to be a tool to help you stay awake while listening to the news coming from the Murdoch and Packer network about the ongoing slaughter of Iraq and its people, and it will help you understand what Attorney-General Philip Ruddock tells you about the ASIO laws, and it will help you read press statements from DIMIA and the Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone about mandatory detention.

'WORDWATCHING - field notes from an amateur philologist is an absolute treat from Julian Burnside. The colourful barrister, who is passionately involved with the arts as well as the law, takes us on a quirky tour through the English language. Mid-way through the book he declares philologists range from "intellectual stick-insects to crusty pedants". Wordwatching seems to disprove his theory, at least as far as JB,QC is concerned!'

'The book swirls and invites the reader to dip and dive into its richly entertaining contents ... There is a real love of language here and the book is full of wonderful stories about the magic of words.'

Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald

'A book which is rich in the diversity of language forms is Wordwatching: field notes from an amateur philologist, by Julian Burnside. This is a witty book with attention given to the power of words and how they can be used.'

Christopher Bantick, Sunday Tasmanian

'a delightful collection of short essays on quixotically selected lexicographical examples, curiosities and profundities catching the eye of a (not so) 'amateur philologist' ... read it as a book of fine essays, laced with a sometimes self-deprecating wit, which use the language with the grace and respect that has inspired [Burnside] to 'watch words' in the first place.'

Brian Matthews, Eureka Street

Julian Burnside ... is a passionate, erudite and witty man. His dissection of the vagaries and bastard history of the English language is worthy of his illustrious predecessors, Johnson and Fowler ... His chapters on 'naughty words', 'haitch' and 'terminal prepositions' reduced this reader to tears of excruciation and delight ... This is a book for any lover of language, and of ideas.'

Kathy Hope, Australian Bookseller & Publisher


Author: Julian Burnside
Title: WORDWATCHING, field notes from an amateur philologist
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Extent: 304 pp
Format: Paperback
Edition: Second (expanded, revised)
Format: 210 x 135mm
ISBN: 1 921215 100
Price: $27.95
Release: December 2006

Important Notice about this item:

About the publication Julian Burnside, Wordwatching: field notes from an amateur philologist (2006): This book is now out of stock, and we no longer supply it to our members or to the wider public. We suggest you could search for online new or second-hand bookshops to secure your copy.

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