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Issue Details: First known date: 2003... 2003 Death Sentence : The Decay of Public Language
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Almost sixty years ago, George Orwell described the decay of language and why this threatened democratic society. But compared to what we now endure, the public language of Orwell's day brimmed with life and truth. Today's corporations, government departments, news media, and, perhaps most dangerously, politicians – speak to each other and to us in cliched, impenetrable, lifeless sludge.

Don Watson can bear it no longer. In Death Sentence, part diatribe, part cool reflection on the state of Australia's public language, he takes a blowtorch to the words – and their users – who kill joy, imagination and clarity. Scathing, funny and brilliant, Death Sentence is a small book of profound weight – and timeliness.

Source: Penguin Random House Australia.

(https://penguin.com.au/books/death-sentence-9781740512787)

Exhibitions

10628823
10626492

Reading Australia

Reading Australia

This work has Reading Australia teaching resources.

Unit Suitable For

AC: Year 10 (NSW Stage 5)

Themes

Australia, Australian identity, Language, media, Power, public, rhetoric, truth

General Capabilities

Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding, Information and communication technology, Literacy, Personal and social

Notes

  • Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? - George Orwell, 1984
  • Epigraph: Language most shows a man: speak that I may see thee. - Ben Jonson
  • Epigraph: A great ox stands on my tongue. -Aeschylus, Agamemnon

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Milsons Point, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Random House Australia , 2003 .
      image of person or book cover 2166629599771468440.png
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 198p.
      Note/s:
      • Bibliography: p.195-198
      ISBN: 1740512065

Works about this Work

[Essay] : Death Sentence Bernadette Brennan , 2013 single work essay
— Appears in: Reading Australia 2013;

'Has our public language really deteriorated to the point where we no longer understand what is being said? If so, when and how did this happen, and how worried should we be? In a world of spin and management speak, is there really any way the average citizen can restore the meaningfulness of public discourse?' (Introduction)

The Need to Belong : Non-Fiction Publishing in Australia, 2003-2004 Richard Rossiter , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: Westerly , November vol. 49 no. 2004; (p. 96-114)

— Review of Island and Otherland : Christopher Koch and His Books Noel Henricksen , 2003 single work criticism ; The Diaries of Donald Friend. Volume 2 Donald Friend , 2003 selected work diary ; The Diaries of Miles Franklin Miles Franklin , 2004 selected work diary ; Can I Call You Colin? : The Authorised Biography of Colin Thiele Stephany Steggall , 2004 single work biography ; The Sparrow Garden Peter Skrzynecki , Marianna Lacek (translator), 2004 single work autobiography ; Minerva's Owl Excerpts from Exile Niqi Thomas , 2003 single work biography ; Inside Out : An Autobiography Robert Adamson , 2004 single work autobiography ; Bittersweet Journey Ruth Hegarty , 2003 single work autobiography ; Bud : A Life Charles Tingwell , Peter Wilmoth , 2004 single work autobiography ; Dhuuluu-Yala : To Talk Straight : Publishing Indigenous Literature Anita Heiss , 2003 multi chapter work criticism ; Two Sisters : Ngarta and Jukuna Ngarta Jinny Bent , Jukuna Mona Chuguna , Pat Lowe , Eirlys Richards (translator), 2004 selected work autobiography biography ; Very Big Journey : My Life as I Remember It Hilda Jarman Muir , 2004 single work autobiography ; Shadow Lines Stephen Kinnane , 2003 single work biography ; Mongrel Signatures : Reflections on the Work of Mudrooroo 2003 anthology criticism ; The Station at Austin Downs : One Family's Adventure on the Land Jo Jackson King , 2004 single work autobiography ; Down to the Sea : A True Saga of an Australian Fishing Dynasty John Little , 2004 single work biography ; Tanami : On Foot Across Australia's Desert Heart Kieran Kelly , 2003 single work autobiography ; Great Australian Droving Stories Bill Marsh , 2003 selected work short story ; Great Australian Drinking Stories 2003 anthology short story prose ; James Stirling : Admiral and Founding Governor of Western Australia Pamela Statham-Drew , 2003 single work biography ; About Face : Asian Accounts of Australia Alison Broinowski , 2003 single work criticism ; Chinese Women and the Global Village : An Australian Site Jan Ryan , 2003 single work prose ; Semar's Cave : An Indonesian Journal John Mateer , 2004 single work prose ; Life and Death in the Age of Sail : The Passage to Australia Robin Haines , 2003 single work non-fiction ; The Girl from Botany Bay : The True Story of Mary Broad and Her Extraordinary Escape Carolly Erickson , 2004 single work biography ; Legacies of White Australia : Race, Culture and Nation 2003 anthology essay ; The Best Australian Essays 2003 2003 anthology essay autobiography interview prose review obituary ; Death Sentence : The Decay of Public Language Don Watson , 2003 single work prose ; Great Australian Fishing Stories Paul Benjamin Kidd , 2003 selected work short story
A Man of His Words Helen Elliott , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: Limelight , January 2004; (p. 40-41)

— Review of Death Sentence : The Decay of Public Language Don Watson , 2003 single work prose
The Courier-Mail Book of the Year Rosemary Sorensen , 2004 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 11 September 2004; (p. 10)
Death Sentence: The Decay of Public Language Deb Doyle , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: Newswrite : The NSW Writers' Centre Magazine , June no. [137] 2004; (p. 7, 30)

— Review of Death Sentence : The Decay of Public Language Don Watson , 2003 single work prose
Words Fail Us Tony Stephens , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 1-2 November 2003; (p. 32)

— Review of Death Sentence : The Decay of Public Language Don Watson , 2003 single work prose
Weeding Out Weasel Words James Ley , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 8 November 2003; (p. 4)

— Review of Death Sentence : The Decay of Public Language Don Watson , 2003 single work prose
Imperilled Public Language Jack Waterford , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 15 November 2003; (p. 3a)

— Review of Death Sentence : The Decay of Public Language Don Watson , 2003 single work prose
Broken English Peter Pierce , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 18 November vol. 121 no. 6399 2003; (p. 69)

— Review of Death Sentence : The Decay of Public Language Don Watson , 2003 single work prose
Word Warrior Peter Charlton , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 8 November 2003; (p. 7)

— Review of Death Sentence : The Decay of Public Language Don Watson , 2003 single work prose
Fighting the Death Sentence James Button , 2003 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 1 November 2003; (p. 3)
The Good (English) Fight Bruce Bennett , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 29 May 2004; (p. 8a) Symposium : Newsletter of the Australian Academy of the Humanities , October no. 28 2004; (p. 8-9)
Professor Bennett urges Australians to develop their English language skills to the highest possible level. He refers to Don Watson's recent book Death Sentence: The Decay of Public Language for examples of the crisis in spoken and written English both in Australia and internationally.
The Courier-Mail Book of the Year Rosemary Sorensen , 2004 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 11 September 2004; (p. 10)
[Essay] : Death Sentence Bernadette Brennan , 2013 single work essay
— Appears in: Reading Australia 2013;

'Has our public language really deteriorated to the point where we no longer understand what is being said? If so, when and how did this happen, and how worried should we be? In a world of spin and management speak, is there really any way the average citizen can restore the meaningfulness of public discourse?' (Introduction)

Last amended 22 May 2017 16:11:44
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