There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The updated version of Paul Dickson’s Slang: The Topical Dictionary of Americanisms is less a functional dictionary than it is something you flip through while chuckling, “Those ‘chipheads’ with their ‘screen dumps.’” In fact, Dickson gets the snarkfest started with a Plain English Association–approved introduction at the beginning of each of 30 topics, from “Auctionese” to “X-ers, Yuppies, Soccer Moms, and Other Moderns.” (Topic No. 29? “Washington-speak.” What does it mean that I’ve lived here for more than six years and have never slung an “orange pouch”?) Still, Dickson ably straddles the line between disgust and delight—this is his bread and butter, after all—reminding us that gangstas aren’t the only ones who need posses; everybody loves a clubhouse. And a thorough index provides quick reference for when your kid calls you a “twillie.” This copy editor will want to know how Dickson decided that “homiez” is the preferred spelling when he discusses and signs copies of his work at 3 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Anne Marson)