Education: Gator Gab

Some English teachers labor under the illusion that college students speak English. Dr. Lalia Phipps Boone of the University of Florida knows better: she keeps her ears open outside the classroom. In American Speech she records the exotic gab used by her students when they stop talking for professorial consumption.

This year superior students held in high regard are four-pointers and curve killers; those who merely get by are egg heads, Popular girls are queens; unpopular ones are roaches—especially if they are also D.D.P.s (damn door pushers, given to hugging the far side of the convertible's front seat). Other automotive terms apply...