Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Evasion-English Dictionary” as Want to Read:
The Evasion-English Dictionary
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Evasion-English Dictionary

by
4.25  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  13 reviews
What if you fired your shrink and hired a proofreader?

More than just a dictionary of euphemisms by a young linguist, The Evasion-English Dictionary is a merciless translation of the banalities of contemporary speech. It's also scathingly funny.

For example, Balistreri asks what if you substituted the word "you" for the phrase "the relationship" in the sentence, "There seem
...more
Paperback, 88 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Melville House
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Evasion-English Dictionary, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Evasion-English Dictionary

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  64 ratings  ·  13 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Sidik Fofana
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
SIX WORD REVIEW: Please, examine your use of "like".
Dan
May 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
A beautiful little treatise on how we avoid saying what we mean, out of "politeness." Read it some afternoon with Harry Frankfurt's On Bullshit .
Nichole Coppes
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I saw her read this years ago and she was amazing! This is one of the best little books on language out there. I laughed out loud.
Suzanne Wise
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Evasion-English Dictionary is SO smart, witty, hilarious. I love the mini-essay intros to examples of the ways in which we manipulate key seemingly throw-away words to evade the truth. Literary brainiac elegance of language with irreverence, including swear words—yum! Political & social critique via the skewering of the colloquial! Maggie Balistreri's newly expanded EED is completely original and much needed in these times in which so many—from a compulsively self-aggrandizing President ...more
Maciej Bliziński
"Actually pretty good!" :D
Christina
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: language
A brief book on how we use certain words to avoid saying what we really mean. "Dictionary" is slightly misleading since only 19 words and phrases are discussed, though the author points out an impressive ten meanings of the word like.
Examples:
the relationship = you: "The relationship needed a lot of work."
I know = even though: "I just don't feel like going. I know you had your heart set on it."
Hate = have: "I hate to say I'm holding out for something better..."
It is funny because of the aut
...more
Joseph
Jun 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
You would expect this to be a cutesy gimmick book - but you'd be wrong. It's actually a fairly astute piece of pop-psychology and linguistic observation. Basically, they take common euphemisms and language tics and break down the hidden meaning behind them. For example, the ubiquitous and highly annoying "like" and "whatever" have 10 and 13 definitions respectively and reading the explanations is very illuminating. Once you see the various social maneuverings and agendas behind each of the liste ...more
Christopher Roth
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's Ambrose Bierce meets Erving Goffman! Short, but hilarious in places and well worth picking up.
Wendy Ross
Sep 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Premium..> (everything is illuminated). Worth buying.
Fucking Funny.
Jaymee
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-not-owned
Brilliant and fun explanation of how we (mis)use words to evade their real meanings/uses!
Denise
Jan 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing-tools
So, like, it's all about how we, like, use words like "like."
Melville House Publishing
Feb 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
"Maggie Balistreri takes dead aim at the Like, Whatever faction of English speakers and splatters them with her paint ball. Clear-minded grammar wins out in the end. Bravo." --Garrison Keillor
Hannah
rated it it was amazing
Aug 03, 2016
Marcus Demmon
rated it it was amazing
Apr 29, 2013
Carol
rated it it was amazing
Mar 01, 2013
Natalie
rated it it was amazing
Jul 18, 2015
Bruce Campbell
rated it really liked it
Apr 21, 2008
Caitlin
rated it really liked it
Jul 11, 2016
Carol
rated it it was amazing
Feb 17, 2019
Skyler
rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2014
Seth Kramer
rated it it was amazing
Jul 05, 2018
Mike
rated it really liked it
Jan 27, 2012
Sophia
rated it liked it
May 14, 2011
Vitali
rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2009
Margaret Harrington
rated it really liked it
Dec 05, 2012
Jess Rueve
rated it it was amazing
Jan 22, 2014
Nicole
rated it it was amazing
Oct 23, 2008
Mugren Ohaly
rated it really liked it
Dec 31, 2016
M
rated it liked it
Aug 26, 2009
Sarah
rated it it was amazing
Jan 01, 2019
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mad Travellers: Reflections on the Reality of Transient Mental Illnesses
  • The Sign of Three: Dupin, Holmes, Peirce
  • Far from the Madding Gerund: And Other Dispatches from Language Log
  • The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax and Other Irreverent Essays on the Study of Language
  • How to Good-Bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everyday. Malarkey? or Effective Way?
  • Seven Men
  • Just My Typo: From "Sinning with the Choir" to "the Untied States"
  • English as She Is Spoke: Being a Comprehensive Phrasebook of the English Language, Written by Men to Whom English was Entirely Unknown
  • The Crisis of Zionism
  • Lapsing Into a Comma: A Curmudgeon's Guide to the Many Things That Can Go Wrong in Print--And How to Avoid Them
  • The Basics: The Techniques of Continental Cooking
  • The Anatomy of Bibliomania
  • The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure
  • The Ouroboros Wave
  • The Psychiatrist & Other Stories
  • A Short History of Nuclear Folly
  • Who Killed Daniel Pearl?
  • Learning to Live Finally: The Last Interview
12 followers
Maggie Balistreri is a namer and taxonomist in NY. She studied information science at Pratt Institute and previously worked as a librarian at Poets House.

Maggie also publishes under the name Maude Spekes.