Algeo, John (Thomas) 1930-

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ALGEO, John (Thomas) 1930-

PERSONAL: Born November 12, 1930, in St. Louis, MO; son of Thomas George and Julia (Wathen) Algeo; married Adele Silbereisen, September 6, 1958; children: Thomas, John, Catherine Marie. Education: University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, B.Ed., 1955; University of Florida, M.A., 1957, Ph.D., 1960. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Episcopalian.

ADDRESSES: Home—220 Cedar Creek Dr., Athens, GA 30605. Office—Quest Magazine, P. O. Box 270, Wheaton, IL 60189-0270.

CAREER: Florida State University, Tallahassee, instructor, 1959-61; University of Florida, Gainesville, assistant professor, 1961-66, associate professor, 1966-69, professor of English, 1970-71, assistant dean of the graduate school, 1969-71; University of Georgia, Athens, professor of English, 1971-94, head of department, 1975-79, professor emeritus, 1994—. American Speech, editor, 1969-82; Quest magazine, editor, 1995—. Has served as a consultant to Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, 1987-93; to Kenkyusha Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, 1991-99; and Webster's New World Dictionary, 4th edition, Cleveland, OH, 1993-95. Military service: U.S. Army, 1950-53; became sergeant.

MEMBER: International Phonetic Association, International Linguistic Association, International Association of University Professors of English, International Order of Co-Freemasonry, International Society of Anglo-Saxonists, Dictionary Society of North America (president, 1995-97), Modern Language Association of America, American Dialect Society (president, 1979), Linguistic Society of America, National Council of Teachers of English, American Name Society (president, 1984), Philological Society, Early English Text Society, Mencken Society, Theosophical Society (national president, 1993), South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Phi Beta Kappa.


(With Thomas Pyles) Problems in the Origins and Development of the English Language, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1966, 3rd edition, 1982.

(With Thomas Pyles) English: An Introduction to Language, Harcourt, 1970.

(With Ralph Williams and others) Spelling: Sound to Letter, Macmillan, 1971.

On Defining the Proper Name, University of Florida Press, 1973.

Exercises in Contemporary English, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1974.

(Editor) Thomas Pyles: Selected Essays on English Usage, University of Florida Press (Gainesville, FL), 1979.

Reincarnation Explored, Theosophical Publishing House (Wheaton, IL), 1987.

(Editor, with Adele S. Algeo) Fifty Years among the New Words: A Dictionary of Neologisms, 1941-1991, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1991.

(Editor) The Cambridge History of the English Language, Volume VI: English in North America, general editor of series, Richard M. Hogg, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2001.

(With Shirley J. Nicholson) The Power of Thought: A Twenty-first Century Adaptation of Annie Besant's Classic Work, Thought Power, Quest Books (Wheaton, IL), 2001.

Unlocking the Door: Studies in "The Key to Theosophy": H. P. Blavatsky's Introduction to Theosophy and the Theosophical Society, Theosophical Publishing House (Wheaton, IL), 2001.

British-American Grammatical Differences, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Contributor to books, including Readings in Stratificational Linguistics, edited by Adam Makkai and David Lockwood, University of Alabama Press, 1973; Advances in Tagmemics, edited by R. M. Brend, North-Holland Publishing, 1974; First Lacus Forum, edited by A. Makkai and Valerie Makkai, Hornbeam, 1975; Papers in Language Variation, edited by David L. Shores and Carol P. Hines, University of Alabama Press, 1977; and James B. McMillan: Essays in Linguistics, edited by James Raymond and I. Willis Russell, University of Alabama Press, 1977. Contributor to linguistics and English journals, as well as translator of Japanese texts.

SIDELIGHTS: John Algeo has had a long career as an academician in the study of the English language. Among his books is Fifty Years among the New Words: A Dictionary of Neologisms, 1941-1991, which he edited with his wife, Adele, in 1991. As Myra Stokes reported in the Review of English Studies, the volume "concerns itself with new words and phrases (or new senses of old ones) not yet registered in standard dictionaries." A few years later, Algeo served as the editor of English in North America, the sixth volume of The Cambridge History of the English Language. This book deals with the topics of various regional dialects from areas throughout the United States and Canada, as well as the kinds of words that different immigrant cultures introduced to American English. A critic in the Contemporary Review concluded of English in North America that "the entire volume is written in a manner that makes the subject both interesting and attractive."

Algeo told CA: "I have had a life-long romance with the English language. Language is what makes us human. The English language is what makes us the kind of humans we are. Every thought we have, every emotion we feel, every action we do is mixed up in the most intimate way imaginable with the language we speak. We can't get away from the fact that the English language of today colors every part of our lives and behavior. And the language we speak today is the heir to thousands of years of development stretching into the murk of prehistoric times. In what I write, I try to convey some sense of the excitement I have when I think about how closely our lives are linked to our language and how ancient and diverse are its roots."



Choice, September, 2002, review of The Cambridge History of the English Language, Volume VI, English in North America, p. 93.

Contemporary Review, February, 2002, review of The Cambridge History of the English Language, Volume VI, pp. 124-125.

Review of English Studies, November, 1994, Myra Stokes, review of Fifty Years among the New Words: A Dictionary of Neologisms, 1941-1991, pp. 538-539.

Times Literary Supplement, February 1, 2002, John A. C. Greppin, "The Triumph of Slang: Social, Regional and Racial Origins of American English," pp. 3-4.*