Imatge de l'autor

Amanda Montell

Autor/a de Cultish: the Language of Fanaticism

3 obres 1,331 Membres 42 Ressenyes

Sobre l'autor

Amanda Montell is a writer and reporter from Baltimore whose writing has been featured in Marie Claire, Nylon, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, The Rumpus,, and Who What Wear. Amanda graduated from NYU with a degree in linguistics and lives in Los Angeles. Her favorite English word is nook and her mostra'n més favorite foreign word is tartle, the Scottish term for when you hesitate while introducing someone because you've forgotten their name. mostra'n menys

Obres de Amanda Montell


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Had it not been pointed out at the beginning and a few other times along the way, I would never have guessed this book was written by a linguist. There are hints that she was familiar with the topic or at least did some research—but it disappointingly is not the thrust of this book. For a linguist she does a remarkably poor job of defining her terms. Like a game of paddle ball where linguistics is the paddle and the narrative the ball, we always spring back to linguistics but never for long. Mostly the diversions are entertaining. Who doesn’t like hearing about the raucous misadventures of cults or the inside stories surrounding multi-level marketing or taking a moment to bash Trump for his manipulative mis-use of language, but none of that was what I was hoping for. I’ve disliked Trump for over 40 years, that being said, it was probably okay to bring him up once and drop it—he is certainly not the first or only politician/game show host to employ such tactics. Bringing Trump back multiple times highlights the personal and playful nature of the book that makes for leisurely reading but not an informative one. At least, not informative in the way I wanted. The author maintains a contemplative distance for most of the book which dramatically falls apart during the last portion dealing with exercise and healing. A long segment comes across as an informercial for SOULCYCLE. It may just be that the writing got lazy, failing to add qualifiers like “trying to give the appearance of” or “wanting it’s followers to believe” instead making it sound like they were doing God’s work. In fact, I was floored when she extrapolated from one source that the decline in followers of organized religion was due to the rise in cult like commercial work out programs. I do have to thank her for inspiring me to use the word “preposterous” which I don’t think I ever have—but that claim is preposterous. In this segment the string on her paddleball breaks as she rarely talks about the use of language in any meaningful way. If you love language like I do, look somewhere else. If you want to drift pleasantly through the topic, then you have found a place to hang out. If you are already feeling like you’ve had enough before the final section—maybe go for a walk instead.… (més)
KurtWombat | Hi ha 26 ressenyes més | Feb 7, 2024 |
An entertaining, somewhat surface-level read that leans more toward reader-friendly than a scholarly deep dive. Contains strong language.
erindarlyn | Hi ha 26 ressenyes més | Jan 25, 2024 |
Any college or university writing or English course needs to include "Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language" as one of the required texts. It makes one think about the motivations behind people's peculiar linguistic habits, like the use of fillers or hedging.

An in-depth analysis of how words associated with femininity frequently evolve into derogatory terms, while words associated with masculinity use power and authority connotations is given in this insightful piece that explores the evolution of gendered language throughout centuries of human social circles.

The book also examines how gendered language affects the LGBTQIA+ community and looks at how slang and the internet interact to influence linguistic norms.

With a delightfully snarky tone, the book delivers an engaging reading experience that is both enlightening and enjoyable.
… (més)
deathicey | Hi ha 14 ressenyes més | Dec 25, 2023 |
I greatly enjoyed Amanda Montell's Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language so my expectations were very high. Also: "here is a book about the power of language, yay, this is pushing all my buttons, bring it on!" Ahem...

My complaints:

- The writing is way too pulpy and cheeky, more so than the subject matter warrants (imho). Was this done to pull more readers in? Possibly, but I found it annoying all the same.

- The book did not go into the subject as deeply as I expected and wanted. 30% in, I began to think that the author's own anecdotes, experiences, and entertaining stories about old friends and acquaintances were taking too much space. "What kind of book am I reading, anyway?", I thought. GIVE!ME!MORE!SCIENCE!
For example, I really wanted more details on how language influences perception and the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. Sure, it took me five seconds of googling to find this neat summary of some of the research, but still...

I did like the way the author described people's reasons for joining and staying in cults, social media taking the space that religion/church occupied in other times, "fitness cults" in the US, the horrible MLM's, and radicalising on social media through language alone.

The best part of the book for me was learning about the concept of thought-terminating clichés I have seen A LOT of those, of course, but now I have great words to describe them. For this, the author has my thanks :)

P.S. I did not learn as much as I thought I would, but this is not the book's fault, obviously.
… (més)
Alexandra_book_life | Hi ha 26 ressenyes més | Dec 15, 2023 |



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