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A Century of 'Variety'-Speak

Variety, the show business trade paper known for its punchy and playful language, celebrates its 100th birthday this year. Over that time, it has originated such Oxford English Dictionary entries as "striptease," "payola" and "boffo."

As Tim Gray, the paper's executive editor notes, getting familiar with the publication can be like learning a foreign language. But, he says, "There is a certain amount of silly fun in slanguage, because show business people take themselves so seriously." His book, The Hollywood Dictionary, is being released this fall.

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Gloria Hillard