slang

Across the pond, Brits have scoffed that Americans are ruining the English language. Here in the U.S., Americans fawn over British accents and giggle at the preposterous syllables in gobsmacked and kerfuffle.

As an American linguist teaching in England, Professor Lynne Murphy is on the linguistic front line. In her new book, "The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English," she explores the fiction and reality of the special relationship between British and American English.

Max Décharné is a writer and musician. He writes about music regularly for Mojo magazine, where he is their chief authority on the subject of rockabilly music, which he has followed and played since the 1970s.

His new book, Vulgar Tongues, is a rollercoaster ride through the colorful history of slang -- from highwaymen to hip-hop. It presents a fresh and exciting take on the subject: entertaining and authoritative without being patronizing, out-of-touch or voyeuristic.

  The founding fathers felt that coining words and creating new uses for old ones was part of their role in creating a new American culture and language, distinct from the prescriptive King's English.

Ever since, American presidents have enriched our vocabulary with words, phrases, and concepts that we have since put to general use. Acclaimed lexicographer Paul Dickson has compiled the first collection of new words and lexical curiosities originating on Pennsylvania Avenue.

His new book is Words from the White House: Words and Phrases Coined or Popularized by America's Presidents.

Michael Adams teaches English language and literature at Indiana University. He is the author of Slayer Slang: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon and editor of From Elvish to Klingon.