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Shelly Berman's Cleans & Dirtys
Shelly Berman's Cleans Dirtys
Author: Shelly Berman
Shelly Berman presents a revolutionary approach to understanding the Aermican language. He has discovered that not only beauty but semantic interpretations, are CLEANS and DIRTys in the eye of the hebholder and that some very innocent-looki g words are not so innocent at all. — For example: To have a part is a CLEAN; To have an affair is a DIRTY...  more »
ISBN: 344085
Publication Date: 1966
Pages: 92
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Price, Stern Sloan
Book Type: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
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This is a cute little book on word play and some social commentary by the author. Examples of the word play are: "Chilly is a CLEAN; Frigid is a DIRTY" "Make Up Artist is a CLEAN; Make Out Artist is a DIRTY" "Comma is a CLEAN; Period is a DIRTY" The word play is fine and clever in various parts of the book but it is Berman's social commentary in explaining how he developed/ discovered the concept of CLEANS DIRTYS and observed it in various parts of the world. "Years ago, while I was on tour in New Zealand and Australia, the producer arranged a late supper in a very fashionable restaurant in Auckland. It was a pleasant affair. My wife, Sarah, and I were treated to an excellent supper in the company of some of the cream of New Zealand citizenry. The ladies were stunningly and tastefully dressed, the gentlemen studiously correct and the conversation interesting and amusing.
After the coffee and brandy had been served, the waiter set a small cupful of toothpicks in the center of the table. Once of the gentlemen raised the cup and passed it to the nearest lady who took two toothpicks from the cup and passed it on. Each guest helped himself or herself to a few toothpicks, Sarah and I declining our share. Then all my fine New Zealand friends proceeded to pick their teeth, the ladies no less vigorously than the men.
I found myself entirely captivated. Never before had I witnessed ten people picking their teeth in unison. Sarah seemed content to study the napkin in her lap but I could not resist observing the techniques of mass-toothpicking as practiced in a foreign land....We felt like guests at some kind of wild party....At that very moment, the most beautiful of the ladies at our table rose, laced her exquisite mink stole on her chair, took up her evening bag, delicately raised her hand to touch her elegantly coiffeured hair, leaned forwards and, with richly cultivated diction and remarkable resonant tones, said for all to hear, "Excuse me, I'm going to the toilet." ....Here I was, surrounded by people speaking the same language as I, acting very much like the folks back home, yet with some peculiarly essential difference -- they had different things to hide. I searched for words to describe this phenomenon and came up with two simple terms I regarded as thoroughly appropriate...."