Time Essay: 80s-Babble: Untidy Treasure

The rich have always liked to assume the costumes of the poor. Take the American language. It is more than a million words wide, and new terms are constantly added to its infinite variety. Yet as the decade starts, the U.S. vocabulary seems to have shrunk to child size.

Those who thought that song lyrics had reached Rock bottom can still hear the refrain of that disco hit: YMCA ... YMCA... YMCA. The Unicorn Hunters, a society of zealous word watchers based at Lake Superior State College in Michigan, offer a list of current English...

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