***** 5 stars
‘Unmentionables’ is an analysis of the use of euphenism in our language. The days are long gone when we can use straightforward language to describe everyday events. Instead we must dress our concepts with ever refreshed new clothes so that they are fit for polite society and change those clothes when the original meaning is seen through. But Keyes also brings out the more sinister fact that the use of euphemism is not just about politeness, but also politics. Especially in recent years, military and political euphemising (‘spinning’), has become the normed communication in relation to an intellectually challenged tabloid taught public. This is a wide-ranging and very well organised book whose special strength is the extensive research that underpins it.
Prof. Dave Mearns