Date: Sat, 16 Sep 1995 21:54:57 -0400

From: James C Stalker stalker[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU

Subject: Re: Going postal

My first awareness of "going postal" is from a bit in Time , 9/4/95 which

quotes several terms from a publication called USA Phrasebook published by

Lonely Planet for Australian tourists who plan to visit the US. They are listed

as slang, and are presented as "being in use in various corners of the US."

The definition given for "going postal" is "euphemism for being totally stressed

out." I have not checked this one with my classes, but I have checked another,

"flip a bitch," 'make a u-turn,' which my midwestern students claim to have

never heard. Given the Australian publication source, is this likely to be

California (or West Coast) in origin. What are the likely dissemination

patterns for US slang getting to Australia? I will check "flip a bitch" and

the other quoted terms on Tuesday.

James C. Stalker

Dept. of English

Michigan State University