Book Review: The Workaday Speech of the Service Industry

 

The title of Fred Shaw’s debut poetry collection, Argot, refers to that specialized vocabulary used by particular social groups. It’s a way of talking about ourselves without being explicit. In other words, the way we talk, the very language that we use, marks us as belonging to a particular community. Pittsburghese is a good example. If you’re visiting Ireland, say, and you overhear someone in the pub say “yinz,” “worsh” and “redd up,” you...

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