“this slaughter of the English language,” 1928

Slang is one of those things that never fails to interest. It evolves at a dizzying rate and is  forgotten as quickly as it moves on, frustrating my desire to know what the heck people were talking about. So when I see something like this 1928 newspaper article about campus slang I sit up and pay attention. It reads like a dispatch from another universe:

There is however one happy little tidbit here that solves an old mystery: what precisely is a cush?

The issue first arose when I wrote this post back in 2018.  It involved the first iteration of what became the Rules for Slimes, written in the fall of 1916, which I found in the ARA collection. Check out rule four:

So that mystery seem solved, but I’d still like to know what you had to do to be guilty of vamping and why it was acceptable to do it in non-conspicuous places.

Bonus: So I’ve given up caring that the cypresses die but I’m still very interested in how the cypresses die.

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3 Responses to “this slaughter of the English language,” 1928

  1. Sherry Kitchell says:

    I seem to remember that some (smaller) Italian cypresses in our neighborhood were victims of the mid-February weather. Although this leaning tree does still looks pretty green.

  2. Robert says:

    I think in most contexts in that era, “vamp” is synonymous with “flirt (with)”.

  3. Michael Alexander says:

    This webpage (South Carolina) has a good summary of all that can afflict cypresses: https://outonalimbsc.com/2019/07/11/are-your-leyland-cypress-trees-dying/

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