Dent's Modern Tribes
- The Secret Languages of Britain
- Narrated by: Susie Dent
- Length: 7 hrs and 22 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 20-10-16
- Language: English
- Publisher: John Murray
Did you know that a soldier's biggest social blunder is called 'jack brew' - making yourself a cuppa without making one for anyone else? That twitchers 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'? Susie Dent does.
Ever wondered why football managers all speak the same way, what a cabbie calls the Houses of Parliament, or how ticket inspectors discreetly request backup? We are surrounded by hundreds of tribes, each speaking its own distinct slanguage of colourful words, jokes and phrases, honed through years of conversations on the battlefield, in A&E, backstage, or at 10,000 feet in the air.
Susie Dent has spent years interviewing hundreds of professionals, hobbyists and enthusiasts, and the result is an idiosyncratic phrasebook like no other. From the Freemason's handshake to the publican's banter, Dent's Modern Tribes takes us on a whirlwind tour of Britain, decoding its secret languages and, in the process, finds out what really makes us all tick.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By debbie on 24-01-17
A flirt through social and professional groups
This book is a whistle stop tour around certain words and phrases which can often be heard around us but which as an outsider may not be understood. Part of this book is about attempting to eradicate those negative feelings of being an outsider and to allow us to feel more inclusive, like we are part of these select communities. This book allows glimpses into the hallowed inner sanctum of the modern tribe and how they have allowed themselves to be formed and defined through their use of language.
I found this to be a fun and informative book which could be dipped in and out of at the reader’s leisure. As an audiobook this removes from the listener their responsibility to give their full undivided attention to the book and story. Instead it allows the listener to listen while they are doing other activities and to come back for repeat listenings in which new information could be learned.
The only criticism I would have about this book is that while the words and phrases are explained and translated there was often little information about the origins of the words and phrases. Nor was it fully explained why this particular tribe may be using these words. Some were self-explanatory and may have not deserved full explanations but with some words and phrases I was left wanting more information.
However, I enjoyed the book and I also enjoyed Susie Dent voice over the audiobook. I felt this through her various asides within the reading gave the audiobook extra substance, in addition I found her enthusiasm and obvious love of words to be contagious. I would recommend this audiobook to others however I feel it is more likely to appeal to those with an already established interest within words who may feel the book wanting due to the lack of depth.
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