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S.O.S. Slips of Speech and How to Avoid Them

Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1922. First edition of a pocket-sized booklet of mispronunciations, misnomers, and vulgarisms to avoid in the English language. The author's personal views often permeate the entries to great comedic effect, such as in the entry for "flapper": "A very immoral young girl in her early teens" (p. 16). "Lady" is described as "a term insisted upon by a class of persons that does not appreciate the true worth of the word woman, [and] is avoided by all women of good breeding" (p. 23). Classism is rife within the booklet; it is clearly marketed towards people who would like to be perceived as more educated or sophisticated by others. It includes the following quote from English poet Alfred Austin on the final page: "Words should drop from the lips as beautiful coins newly issued from the mint, deeply and accurately impressed, perfectly finished, neatly struck by the proper organs, distinct, sharp, in due succession and of due weight".

12mo (6.25" by 3.75"), pp. 40, in original printed red wrappers with owl decoration on front. Spine reinforced with modern brown cloth tape. Toned, wrappers chipped.

Price: $150.00

Item #22000828