An Illustrated Book of Loaded Language
Ali Almossawi, Alejandro Giraldo
The creators of An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments return at last with a desperately timely guide to rhetoric.
Have you ever wondered how language shapes a story? How a politician can waffle their way out of a scandal, or a newspaper headline determine how readers think about an event? This adorably illustrated book demonstrates the ways in which language can be used to influence thought.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators packed the city’s streets on Friday. The actual count was 250,000. Why tens of thousands, then, and not a quarter million?
Rabbits zapped three badgers in an ambush last night, hours after six rabbits in a neighbouring town lost their lives. Were the six rabbits the sole participants in losing their own lives? Those silly rabbits …
Old Mr Rabbit is your guide to these and many more examples of loaded language. He mines real reporting (by respected and rogue media alike) to unmask rhetoric that shifts blame, erases responsibility, dog-whistles, plays on fear, or rewrites history – subtly or shamelessly. It takes a long pair of ears to hear what’s left unsaid – but when the very notion of truth is at stake, listening for ‘spin’ makes all the difference.
Praise for An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments: 'I love this illustrated book of bad arguments. A flawless compendium of flaws.' -- Prof. Alice Roberts, anatomist, presenter of the BBC's The Incredible Human Journey Praise for An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments: 'A wonderfully digestible summary of the pitfalls and techniques of argumentation. I can't think of a better way to be taught or reintroduced to these fundamental notions of logical discourse. A delightful little book.' -- Aaron Koblin, former Creative Director of the Data Arts team at Google Praise for An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments: '[A] handsome newcomer's guide to the world of logic ... Almossawi and his McSweeney's-ready artist Giraldo accessibly tackle such classic subjects as circular reasoning, false dilemma, straw man, appeal to ignorance, and genetic fallacy ... an attractive, substantive read.' -- John Wenzel * Denver Post * 'This is a book for every thinking person, the perfect antidote to today's culture wars. It doesn't contain rules about what you can or can't say-instead, it gives you tools to think more deeply about what your words convey, so that you may more precisely express yourself.' -- Hope Jahren, author of Lab Girl and The Story of More 'An Illustrated Book of Loaded Language uses beautiful pen-and-ink drawings by Alejandro Giraldo and a metaphorical conflict between badgers and rabbits to lay out some of the ways language is shaped by those in power ... [The badger-rabbit war] isn't going to end in our lifetime, but you can still recognise and call out bad-faith rhetoric when you see it.' -- Lifehacker 'There are a wealth of examples that exposed this reader to an Alice in Wonderland-like experience of bewilderment and amazement at the myriad ways news reports, advertisers, politicians, and anyone else can exploit language and befuddle the reader ... This book should be required reading for all students.' * Manhattan Book Review * 'After you read this book, you'll never watch news broadcasts or read news articles the same way again. And that's a good thing.' -- Jenny Bristol * GeekMom * 'You business people, scientists, teachers, and leaders need to read this. It'd be glib to say that An Illustrated Book of Loaded Language is for the thinkers in the room, but then that would be loaded language. Instead, let's just say that this is a book that could challenge some folks in how they present arguments, enforce others when they present things and make others peek past the veil of supposed objectivity.' * Daddy Mojo *
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