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Dewdroppers, Waldos, and Slackers: A Decade-by-Decade Guide to the Vanishing Vocabulary of the 20th Century
     

Dewdroppers, Waldos, and Slackers: A Decade-by-Decade Guide to the Vanishing Vocabulary of the 20th Century

by Rosemarie Ostler
 

Every era of the twentieth century from the "Roaring Twenties" to the "Me Decade" brought its own fads and trends and the language to go with them: fresh youth slang, up-to-the-minute buzzwords, and colorful catch phrases. Most of this new vocabulary exploded into the vernacular, only to fizzle a few years later as newer trends and more

Overview

Every era of the twentieth century from the "Roaring Twenties" to the "Me Decade" brought its own fads and trends and the language to go with them: fresh youth slang, up-to-the-minute buzzwords, and colorful catch phrases. Most of this new vocabulary exploded into the vernacular, only to fizzle a few years later as newer trends and more current events demanded their own terminology.

Giving yesterday's words another chance to sparkle before they retire for good, Dewdroppers, Waldos, and Slackers focuses on language that still resonates with the mood of its times. A nostalgic word trip through the highs and lows of American English from the last century, this book pays special attention to words that enjoyed a brief vogue only to end up abandoned and nearly forgotten: jet jockeys, keypunch operators, the bugged-out and the slackers. All these words have a place here in engaging essays, arranged by decade, that put them in their historical and sociological context. While the twentieth century is over, this book will help us appreciate the words that were left behind.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Worthwhile.... Engaging. A nice light accurate skimming of the vocabulary of particular eras of the twentieth century." —Allan Metcalf, secretary of the American Dialect Society and author of America in So Many Words

"Well documented and entertaining, this book...will appeal to all aficionados of language."—Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195182545
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
09/01/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Rosemarie Ostler, a linguist and librarian, has written on this topic for The Saturday Evening Post, and her work has also appeared in The Futurist, Oregon Quarterly, Whole Earth, and Writers' Journal.

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