Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Words Younger Than John McCain

Okay. I'm starting my real writing any second now (note to self: Take the wi-fi card OUT at night!) But I got a bug in my ear about the site Things Younger Than McCain--not that his age is an issue, per se (I don't think it is), but that it might serve as an interesting way to look at our language, and a good excuse for me to use the ultra-cool "date search" function of the Merriam-Webster 11th Collegiate Dictionary CD-ROM.

So here, for your enjoyment, is a partial list of words that entered written English after 1936 (McCain's birth year) and before 1940. These concepts all had to be invented after he was born. (And, to be fair, after my dad was, too. My dad would make a fine President.)

WORDS YOUNGER THAN JOHN MCCAIN

acorn squash

addictive

attendee

balding (adj.)

bicep

black belt

Bloody Mary

border collie

Brooklynese

brownnose

bubble gum

burger

busload

carport

cocktail lounge

crack down

crew neck

de-emphasize

dirndl

doodle (noun)

finger painting

freelancer

fucked-up

glove compartment

gurney

high beam

hook check

horror story

hundreds place

itty-bitty

jalapeno

jukebox

life vest

matchbook

moola

mountain gorilla

newscast

pen pal

percussionist

pesto

pillow talk

pinking shears

pizzazz

pollster

private eye

rat race

running time

Russian roulette

salad bar

screw around

second-degree burn

senior citizen

ski lift

smallmouth bass

squad car

switch-hit

teal blue

tourist trap

two cents (as in “put my two cents in”)

unzip

vichyssoise

windchill

women’s room


UPDATE: Hey, I just got linked to the Official Site! I feel so honored! Go visit today!


LATER UPDATE: I just found out that apparently many of Merriam-Webster's dates are flawed. Damn. For now, though, and until they have a coolly searchable OED, I'm standing by my collegiate, quomodocumquizing be damned.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous tips@thingsyoungerthanmccain.com said...

thanks for the shout-out on your blog and the interesting idea about the words.... ok if i link to it on mine?

joe
tips@thingsyoungerthanmccain.com

6/17/2008 5:03 PM  
Blogger Theo said...

Incidentally, OED has citations for many of these words from long before 1936. Mirriam-Webster just doesn't have the earliest references.

6/17/2008 11:44 PM  

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