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Wordcrime: Solving Crime Through Forensic Linguistics (Anglais) Broché – 9 février 2012


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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 208 pages
  • Editeur : Continuum Publishing Corporation; Édition : Reprint (9 février 2012)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1441193529
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441193520
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,9 x 1,6 x 21,7 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 3.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 87.744 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
An interesting book for linguists, though I question the validity of his work - the great majority of it seems to be very self-evident, though it is explained in a complicated manner! Who knows - this guy says that he is the only full time forensic linguistics specialist... already something that makes me doubt what he's doing!
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 commentaires
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A perfect book for the CSI/mystery/true-crime fan 7 juin 2009
Par Lewis Perdue - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Fans of CSI, true crime books and mysteries looking for new plots and unique ways of solving crimes will find Wordcrime a deep and rewarding trove of reading.

Internationally renowned forensic linguist John Olsson has created a work that is both highly readable and factually rigorous. This book simultaneously entertains and educates -- a nearly impossible feat in both fact and fiction.

Indeed, some of the true-crimes have details that would have been unbelievable had they been written as fiction.

Written in bite-sized chapters, Wordcrime takes a "from the files of ..." approach as Olsson explains the origins of some of the hundreds f cases he has worked on. Olsson leads us through the genesis of each crime, the methods he used to sleuth his way to the guilty party, and the resolution.

Olsson devotes a small part of each chapter to explain some facet of forensic linguistics -- brief enough to be entertaining and long enough to impart a substantial degree of understanding.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Court of Language 13 juillet 2014
Par John M. Ford - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
John Olsson is one of the world's top forensic linguists. He has testified in more than 500 court cases, published numerous research studies, and co-authored (with June Luchjenbroers) one of the field's leading textbooks, Forensic Linguistics. In this book he teaches readers about forensic linguistics using the case study method.

Each of the twenty-three chapters describes a case the author has contributed to as a forensic linguist. He has selected each one to illustrate particular aspects of his work. "My aim is not primarily to tell a good story, but to illustrate how interesting and complex language is, and how powerful a resource it can be when it enters the arena of the law." All of the cases are worth reading. These three are reasonably representative:

Chapter 4, "Is The Da Vinci Code a Plagiarism?" examines an accusation that Dan Brown "borrowed without permission" major plot elements of his bestseller from another writer's book. Olsson addresses this question by examining the order in which the plot elements occur in each book. He also looks at instances where both authors made the same unusual or erroneous word choices. Olsson reports the legal outcome and invites readers to form their own conclusions.

In Chapter 8, "Murder or Suicide," Olsson is hired by the family of a young man who has apparently committed suicide and left a suicide note for his family. Suspicious circumstances lead his family suspect the man was murdered and the note forged by the killer. In reaching his conclusions, Olsson considers both characteristic features of the young man's writing and the tone and content typical of authentic suicide notes.

Chapter 20, "Return to Sender," occurs in the context of a woman's claim that she was sexually assaulted by her psychotherapist. As this trial approached the city's Social Welfare Division received an anonymous letter asserting that the woman suffered from several specific psychological disorders and was unfit to care for her children. Olsson's analysis addressed the scarcity of psychology terminology in everyday language and included a word choice comparison between the letter and the therapist's patient notes.

Each chapter tells an engaging story and showcases at least one linguistic analysis technique. Good reading, a good introduction to the forensic linguistics specialty, and a well-crafted invitation to learn more from the author's weighty text. Nicely done, Dr. Olsson!
Case Studies from a Fascinating New Field of Forensics 26 février 2015
Par R. Schultz - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This book consists of short, bite-size chapters describing a wide variety of analyses the author made regarding the implications, reliability, or source, of words presented to him. He did this as a leading authority in the relatively new field of "forensic linguistics" that he has been a pioneer in formalizing.

This isn't handwriting analysis. Nor is it exactly like the kinds of attribution studies that scholars have been doing for a long time in order to determine such questions as "Did Shakespeare really write all those plays?" Rather, Olsson's work is geared strictly toward giving impartial testimony in court, so it calls for both legal and linguistic knowledge.

I had my attention called to this new discipline in an episode of TV's "Forensic Files." It seemed like a fascinating subject for anyone interested in writing, or in the meaning and nuances of words. As a result, I immediately bought this book, as well as Olson's textbook on the subject. Of the two books, "Word Crime" is aimed more at a general audience. Each chapter is a case study that describes some of the principles Olsson used in reaching a conclusion about certain contested statements.

The chapters cover an amazingly wide range of topics. They include Olsson's analysis of both written and audio sources. Had a "suicide" note found beside a woman's body really been written by that woman - or did her husband write it to disguise a murder? Was a witness' statement spontaneous - or did his account have the earmarks of having been fed to him by police questioners? Were the charges of genocide made by two Rwandan women against one of their countrymen firsthand accounts - or were they based on hearsay? Was bestseller "The DaVinci Code" plagiarized by author Dan Brown - or is it original work? (In this last particularly interesting case, Olsson refrains from spelling out what opinion he rendered, leaving readers to form their own conclusion.)

In general, this book didn't dampen my enthusiasm for pursuing the subject matter further. However sometimes Olsson's writing is a bit stuffy and uninspired. Some of the conclusions he rather laboriously arrives at seem obvious. Also, some of the cases he cites don't seem to warrant the analytic lengths he went to in order to render an opinion. For example, there's the case of the airplane pilot who had his flyers' Club privileges revoked and his plane and hangar confiscated when his fellow plane enthusiasts thought he was the author of some bitingly satirical articles about the Club in the local newspaper.

Olsson also sometimes contradicts himself from one study to the next. In one place he warns that it's now deemed to be unproductive to use concordances in which you total up the number of times a word appears in a contested document as compared to a known document. However, then Olsson tells how he used various corpuses (similar to concordances) and also just simple Google searches to see how often a particular phrase appears in general usage. It's the same when it comes to considering the average length of sentences and the richness of the vocabulary used in two documents up for comparison. At first Olsson says such factors are "not indicative" of authorship, but in subsequent case studies he uses those very factors to help him reach an opinion.

In other cases, Olsson appears to be somewhat biased, contrary to the strict code of conduct that any forensic scientist is supposed to follow. He reports the cases in which the courts or judges rendered decisions contrary to his recommendations, and in some of these cases, the reader might feel the courts were in the right. Also, many of these studies were conducted in England and so are based on questions of jurisprudence and police procedure that might be foreign to many American readers.

But on the whole, this material is a real find. It opens a door to a whole new field of study. Better yet, it will likely sensitize readers to phrasing and nuance. Did the witness say, "I saw 'the' cut on his arm" - or "I saw 'a' cut on his arm"? That difference can make all the difference.

Be sure to take advantage of the glossary at the end of the book that explains the more technical meaning of many of the terms that Olsson uses.
Jury still out on forensic linguistics! 22 mars 2012
Par C R - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
What does the way you speak or write reveal about you that you aren't aware of? How can your use of language be argued to show that you wrote the anonymous malicious letter? that you plagiarized the plot to the Da Vinci Code? or that you murdered your spouse and forged the "suicide" note?

How to solve crimes and other mysteries by looking at the way people use language is what this book of 23 chapters is about. Each one contains a unique story that depicts how use of language can leave clues that most people do not recognize.

The author explains that forensic linguistics is a relatively new field--the term first having been used in 1968 and only entering general usage in 1994. What he does not say, and what I highly suspect, is that the jury is still out on whether forensic linguistics can accomplish what it claims.

Although the author loves what he does and is an advocate for the general acceptance of the field, not every chapter casts forensic linguistics in a positive light. One case, the "Prosecutor Memo", argued as a "significant ruling for forensic linguistics" resulted in a real travesty of justice in my opinion. It revealed a serious misunderstanding in the way prosecutors use language. Am I really supposed to believe that a policeman would take the chance of ruining his or her entire career just to get a garden variety DWI conviction? I don't think so. Neither the police nor most prosecutors are that fragile or sensitive.

Still I give the book five stars because provocative ideas--even wrong ones--really stimulate and on balance the book is unique and very interesting. I am fascinated by the proposition that clues can be found in language use and I loved reading the stories--each one a different kind of "who dunn it?"

Hmmm. I wonder what clues I leave behind about me hidden away in this review? :)
None 24 mai 2015
Par Dawn M. Trautwein - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
An interesting look at the use of language involved in various disputes and criminal cases. While it is chock full of technical terms, the author takes pains to explain and educate. Each chapter focuses on one case as the vehicle to illustrate linguistic principles.
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