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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Excerpt from The Ranter’s Guide to South Africa by Bryan Rostron

The Ranterâ��s Guide to South Africa“Ours is swiftly becoming the time of the ranter,” explains Bryan Rostron in this excerpt from The Ranter’s Guide to South Africa: A Handbook for Hotheads, Windbags and Demagogues. He goes on to say that the book is “a short dictionary that defines some of our most overused and abused words” that “aims to deflate some of our current claptrap with brief, possibly somewhat tetchy explanations”.

Swarms of cliches assault us from all sides. Defend the revolution! Brand South Africa! These two slogans, not exactly compatible, are urged straight-faced every day. The fact that exhortations to revolution and branding can appear to coexist peacefully, as if they could possibly share any kind of symbiotic relationship, tells us that not only has a great deal of our language been tortured out of any sense, but that there are also plenty of people who listen to this hocus-pocus as if it means something. So here, dear reader, is a short dictionary that defines some of our most overused and abused words. It encompasses, from A to Z, politics, business, culture, sport and history.

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