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From baby boomers with 'groovy' and 'yuppie,' to Generation X with 'whatever' and 'like,' each generation inevitably comes to use certain words that are particular to its unique time in history. Those words not only tell us a great deal about the people in those generations, but highlight their differences with other generations.
In this entertaining compilation, Allan Metcalf, author of OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word, shows that each generation--those born within the same roughly 20-year time period--can be identified and characterized by its key words. Metcalf tells the story of the history and usage of these words, starting with the American Revolution and ending with the post-Millennial Homeland generation. With special attention to the differences in vocabulary among today's generations--the sometimes awkward Millennials, the grunge music of Generation X, hippies among the Boomers, and bobbysoxers among the Silents--From Skeddadle to Selfie compiles dozens of words we thought we knew, and tells the unheard stories of each and how they accompanied its generation through its time.
Allan Metcalf is author of six previous books on language, most recently OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word (Oxford University Press, 2010). He posts weekly to the Lingua Franca blog of the Chronicle of Higher Education, and, as executive secretary of the American Dialect Society, invented that group's annual vote on Word of the Year. He is Professor of English at MacMurray College and consultant to attorneys on matters of language and law.