Taboos and Language Censoring Book Review

Taboos and Language Censoring
A review of Keith Allan and Kate Burridge's work, "Forbidden Words, Taboos and Censoring of Language".
# 153612 | 1,462 words | 1 source | APA | 2013 | KE
Published on Jul 12, 2013 in Communication (Language and Speech) , Literature (American) , Language (General)

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The paper outlines how Keith Allan and Kate Burridge "Forbidden Words, Taboos and Censoring of Language" explore the origins of taboos, the issue of sweet talking and offensive language, including jargon, slang, swearing and insults, and finally, the issue of sex and bodily effluvia. The paper relates that the authors support their arguments with a vast array of references and cases from different societies, authors, philosophers and religious texts from across the world, and in this writer's opinion, the authors have overwhelmingly succeeded in their comprehensive exploration of taboo and language censoring. The writer notes several shortcomings of this book but still strongly recommends it.

From the Paper:

"In Forbidden Words, Taboo and Censoring of Language, Keith Allan and Kate Burridge examine, in depth, the subject of taboo and censoring of language. Indeed, the authors, who are both linguistics scholars and specialists in semantics and linguistic taboos and publishers of numerous authoritative books on the subject and based at Monash University, Australia, indicate that "this book provides a fascinating insight into taboo language and its role in everyday life."The book is a sociological study but more concerned with the linguistic aspects. Ten topics form the basis of the discussion in the entire book, these are: taboos and their origins; sweet talking and offensive language; bad language i.e. Jargon, slang, swearing and insult; the language of political correctness; linguistic purism and verbal hygiene; naming and addressing; sex and bodily effluvia; food and smell; disease, death and killing; and taboo, censoring and the human brain. There is a notes section at the end of the tenth chapter that provides useful further insights about some issues raised in the text as well as the index. Each chapter focuses on a particular topic while relating to the whole issue of taboo and language censoring."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Allan.K. & Burridge, K. (2006).Forbidden Words, Taboo and Censoring of Language. New York: Cambridge University Press.Pp.315.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Taboos and Language Censoring (2013, July 12) Retrieved April 02, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Taboos and Language Censoring" 12 July 2013. Web. 02 April. 2023. <>