Dewdroppers, Waldos, and Slackers: A Decade-By-Decade Guide to the Vanishing Vocabulary of the 20th Century (Paperback)

A Decade-By-Decade Guide to the Vanishing Vocabulary of the 20th Century

By Rosemarie Ostler

Oxford University Press, USA, 9780195182545, 239pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 2005

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Description

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.


About 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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