Far more than just a military conflict, the 'War on Terror' has been a struggle over values and meanings, a desperate contest for hearts and minds in which language has become its battlefield. In this highly original book, Fred Halliday takes us on a tour of this new war-zone, its artillery and trenches, minefields and booby-traps. Drawing on years of painstaking collation, Halliday shows how the 'War on Terror' has brought us not just new words and acronyms, such as 'Gitmo' and 'IED', and new imports, such as 'jihad' and 'Salafi', but also new - and distinctly sinister - ways of using existing language, such as 'extraordinary rendition' and 'enhanced interrogation techniques'. Halliday chronicles the use and development of all the neologisms produced by the 'War on Terror', and examines the underlying dynamics driving them. He argues that the increased use of everyday words from Arabic, for example, reflects not only increased interest in the Arab world but also hostility to it, a sense that its reference points are 'untranslatable' in our own culture. Scanning the pock-marked semantic landscape of the post 9/11 world, he uncovers hidden twists of phrasing and word associations which in themselves tell a story about the violent clash of ideologies that has marked the opening of the 21st century. Part indispensable reference, part polemic, part entertaining snapshot of our times, Shocked and Awed is a bristling arsenal of the 21st century's most potent weapons: Words.
Shocked and Awed
How the War on Terror and Jihad Have Changed the English Language