Excerpted from Lost Horizon by James Hilton, ©1933:
“A rather grim story, Chang,” he commented at length. “It gives one the feeling that Time is like some balked monster, waiting outside the valley to pounce on the slackers who have managed to evade him longer than they should.”
“Slackers?” queried Chang. His knowledge of English was extremely good, but sometimes a colloquialism proved unfamiliar.
“‘Slacker,'” explained Conway, “is a slang word meaning a lazy fellow, a good-for-nothing. I wasn’t, of course, using it seriously.”
Chang bowed his thanks for the information. He took a keen interest in languages and liked to weigh a new word philosophically. “It is significant,” he said after a pause, “that the English regard slackness as a vice. We, on the other hand, should vastly prefer it to tension. Is there not too much tension in the world at present, and might it not be better if more people were slackers?”
“I’m inclined to agree with you,” Conway answered with solemn amusement.
Lost Horizon is not in the public domain in the United States or Europe, but it is in Australia. If you live there, you can read or download it for free at Project Gutenberg’s Australia site, HERE.