We all know language changes rapidly, but to follow along requires an historical view. Chapman's Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition, provides just what is needed to trace the language of today back to its American roots.
And make no mistake––this is a dictionary that is purely American, the place where you can trace the development of the American language, in it's highly informal format known as "slang."
Some would ask: "isn't the language changing so fast that this book is out of date the day on which it is published?" Although it is true that changes to the language, particularly slang, happen faster and faster in the electronic age, still there is a place for an authoritative, recognized work that keeps track of and compiles the language into an historical document, as this dictionary does.
It is true that language changes very quickly; it is just as true that today's slang may be forgotten tomorrow. In recording the changing language, and sorting out what's here to stay from what's coming and quickly going, the Dictionary of American Slang serves a useful and important purpose.
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Barbara Ann Kipfer, Ph.D., is a lexicographer who has authored or compiled more than forty books, including the Dictionary of American Slang (with Robert L. Chapman), The Order of Things, Writer's Digest Flip Dictionary, and the bestselling 14,000 Things to Be Happy About. She received her doctorate in linguistics from England's University of Exeter.
Dr. Robert L. Chapman, the founding editor of the Dictionary of American Slang, was a professor of English at Drew University.
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