You know what "booze" means, of course, but what if you asked someone in London for a definition -- say, 500 years ago? Lexicographer Jonathon Green will tell you the word is a lot older than you might think. He's spent the last quarter century studying slang, and its history, in the English language. The respected editor of the authoritative Cassell's Dictionary of Slang, Jonathon's written over a dozen books on the subject and has collected a database of over 100,000 slang words. He's now working on a mammoth multi-volume dictionary, due out in 2008, that will cover a half a millennium's worth of words, phrases and figures of speech -- salty and otherwise -- that have seeped into English as slang. We talked to Jonathon about his passion:

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"American spelling is plainly better than English spelling, and in the long run it seems sure to prevail." Well, that's one man's opinion. But where did all the differences begin? We take a look back this month in the Lounge. Continue reading...
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