"For a few months in 1922, throngs of America’s youth — from schoolkids to shopgirls — were swept up in a leaderless pyramid scheme that promised “something for nothing” and encouraged promiscuous flirtation. These were the “Shifters.” This is their (brief) story." (NYTimes link) Previously on the flappers and flapper slang: 1, 2.
The wonderful Ben Schott (previously on Mefi) has posted an awesome excerpt from the 1891 Anglo-American Telegraphic Code, showing how folks got around (economically-induced) character and word limitations over a century before Twitter. Too wacky to be true? Gleam tus!