OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. xvi + 207 pages. Revised paperback edition, March 2012.
"It is an impressively worthy biography, description, and analysis of what Metcalf calls 'America's greatest word.' It is a book full of entertaining facts and intriguing suggestions about the American psyche, which the history of OK illuminates. This is a scholarly work, but no dry-as-dust tome. The book is full of life, highly readable, a page-turner. It has no footnotes or bibliographies, but it breathes authenticity. It is a sterling example of what linguistic scholarship can, and should, be for the general reader."--John Algeo in Dictionaries, journal of the Dictionary Society of North America.
“He expands upon the philosophical implications of ‘OK the embodiment of down-to-earth pragmatism and OK the voice of tolerance,’ an amalgam that he takes to be a modern American cornerstone, which makes OK not just America’s greatest word, but ‘its greatest invention.’ All righty, then.”—Roy Blount Jr., New York Times Book Review
Presidential Voices: Speaking Styles from George Washington to George W. Bush. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004. xv + 334 pages.
Predicting New Words: The Secrets of Their Success. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002. xvi + 207 pages.
How We Talk: American Regional English Today. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. xvi + 207 pages.
The World in So Many Words. [The story of one word from each of the hundreds of languages that have given words to English.] Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999. xiv + 300 pages.
America in So Many Words: Words That Have Shaped America. With David K. Barnhart. [The story of a word or phrase for each year in American history.] Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. xii + 308 pages.
BOOKS ON WRITING
Writing to the Point. 6th edition. Roseville, Minnesota: Birch Grove Publishing, 2008. 128 pp.
Research to the Point. [Textbook on the research paper.] 2nd edition. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1995. ix + 214 pp. Also Instructor's Guide, vii + 55 pp.