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Reviews267 hypallage. Likewise readers will have to know already that the New Hebrides have become Vanuatu. The names of varieties like Bajan, Bislama, and Tok Pisin have to be sought under Barbadian English, etc., and here again the index could have been helpful. It might also have included the names of linguists mentioned in the text. There are some group entries—problem pairs, problem words, spelling—that could have been treated (as many individual usage problems are) in the main alphabetical sequence. Since they are not, the separate items should certainly have been indexed. The quality of the book is very high at a very reasonable price; well-spaced print, on good paper. The page layout could perhaps have been clearer—numbered paragraphs are indented by the same amount as single line quotations (which are very frequent, and break up the text), making it difficult to scan. More use could have been made of diagrams, for instance to illustrate layouts for letters, etc., and in the entry on phonetics. In conclusion, this book is a very exciting new departure in usage handbooks. So far the authors are only holding up the kaleidoscope, but it is to be hoped that success will embolden them and that in future editions they will show us the language tumbling and shining through endless refractions. Caroline Macafee University of Glasgow A Feminist Dictionary. Chéris Kramarae and Paula A. Treichler, with assistance from Ann Russo. Boston, London, and Henley: Pandora Press, 1985. ? + 587 pp. $US 28.95 cloth, $US 12.95 paper. Dictionaries of non-mainstream language usage are usually compiled by editors from the mainstream culture. A Feminist Dictionary (AFD) has not been, and for this reason alone it would be worth having on the shelf. Besides giving an insider's view of a language variety not readily accessible through other reference works, AFD employs skills and resources characteristic of some of our best selective dictionaries. 268Reviews Compiled by two professors and a graduate student from one of the leading universities in the United States, this dictionary allows outsiders a view of English as used by feminists from the perspective of feminist scholars themselves. Rarely do the less powerful groups within any given culture have the skills and the access to publication that enable them to describe their own language experience. Most often, a member of the most powerful class or caste within the culture describes the language used by the less powerful; by necessity this description is that of an outsider, one whose very presence is at best tolerated and at worst suspect. Kramarae and Treichler have edited the journal Women and Language for six years and separately have also published several influential volumes on gender and language. Treichler is a linguist, Kramarae a professor of speech communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The compilers of AFD are self-conscious about their task— that is, conscious of the importance of the kind of selves who have assembled this collection of words and definitions. They begin with a 22-page discussion entitled "Words on a Feminist Dictionary" and note their several purposes. These include the documentation of women's linguistic contributions, as well as the stimulation of further research on women and language. Contrasting with the hundreds of dictionaries which preserve men's definitions, this volume "insists upon the significance of women as speaking subjects and documents their linguistic contributions" (3). With such a goal, many of its entries may seem idiosyncratic, but upon reflection no more so than those found in many traditional dictionaries of English, which reflect primarily the experiences of those who encounter life as lightskinned males. The entry for poverty, for example, contrasts the different meanings of this condition for male and female of the mainstream culture, as well as giving another perspective on the term for Native Americans: "Our poverty is that we can't be who we are. We can't hunt or fish or grow our food because our basic resources and the right to use them in traditional ways are denied us" (350-51). AFD is an important contribution to the study of language and culture. Coming two decades into the "new wave...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 267-271
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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