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British Publishing Euphemisms Decoded by Industry Experts

7 March 2012

From One-Minute Book Reviews:

The British have a gift for coded speech. Like Southerners who say “Bless your heart” when they mean the opposite, they salt their conversations with euphemisms that only the most credulous tourist would take at face value.

. . . .

“ahead of its time”: “It bombed” Julie Bertagna, author of Exodus and other young-adult novels

. . . .

“an exciting new children’s author”: “edited to within an inch of its life so no parents can possibly be offended” Iain Paton, writer

. . . .

“There is such excitement in-house”: “My assistant loved it” Jonny Geller

“This novel really challenges convention”: “including spelling and basic grammar” Phoenix Yard Books, an independent children’s publisher

Link to the rest at One-Minute Book Reviews

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3 Comments to “British Publishing Euphemisms Decoded by Industry Experts”

  1. So, as an example…

    There is a great deal of excitement about this exciting new literary-commercial crossover from author X, which will appeal to fans of Diana Gabledon, Nora Roberts and Lisa Kleypas. The plot challenges convention and never quite reaches the huge potential of its promise. It is unclear whether this is because it is ahead of its time, or because there are a couple of tiny changes needed. While the book doesn’t fit my current list, I am sure it will find its niche.

  2. This reminds me of the code-words in the real estate business. “A doll-house” means it’s too small to contain humans of normal size. “It just needs some TLC” means 59 cats have used it for a litter box. And “handy-man special” means the roof is about to cave in and it doesn’t have a proper foundation. The last time we went house-hunting, a house billed as in great condition had obvious black mold all over the bathroom walls. Charming. 😉


  3. Being British I didn’t actually need the translations. I dunno why people think we aren’t precisely honest. It’s just good manners not to upset people with the unvarnished truth.

    And it allows us to be four streets away before they realise they’ve just been insulted, which is always a good move.

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