Death Sentence: The Decay of Public Language
' ...in public life the language has never been held in less regard. It withers in the dungeons of the technocratic mind. It is butchered by the media. In politics it lacks all qualifications for the main game.' Don Watson 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 uaspeak to each other and to us in clich'd, 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 uaand their users uawho kill joy, imagination and clarity. Scathing, funny and brilliant, DEATH SENTENCE is a small book of profound weight uaand timeliness.
Winner of Nielsen BookData/ABA Book of the Year Award - Booksellers' Choice 2003.
Don Watson's Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: Paul Keating Prime Minister, won the Age Book of the Year and Non-Fiction Prizes, the Brisbane Courier Mail Book of the Year, the National Biography Award and the Australian Literary Studies Association's Book of the Year. His Quarterly Essay, Rabbit Syndrome: Australia and America won the Alfred Deakin Essay Prize. Death Sentence, his best-selling book about the decay of public language won the Australian Booksellers Association Book of the Year 2003. Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words, another best-seller, was published in 2004. His most recent book American Journeys won the Age Non-Fiction and Book of the Year Awards in 2008. It also won the inaugural Indie Award for Non-Fiction and has been shortlisted for the Walkley Award for Non-Fiction.