So trivial, yet it really ticks you off.

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by GHT, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    If youse guys think modern teen slang is bad, then, my fran', neck up, pliz, on gator lingo of the '30s, yowzah!
     
    vitanola and Zombie_61 like this.
  2. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,464
    Location:
    New Forest
    wtf.jpg
     
    Zombie_61 likes this.
  3. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

    Messages:
    7,875
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    Any linguists in the house?

    If not, I’ll be left to research on my own how slang terms, some of them, work their way into the “standard” lexicon. And how others (most of them, I strongly suspect) don’t.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
    Zombie_61 likes this.
  4. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,760
    Location:
    Illinois
    My grandmother lived in a large enough community to actually go to a 4 year high school in the late teens and early 1920s.
    I remember finding a couple of her high school yearbooks in the attic and reading the inscriptions fellow students had written inside. Ridiculous teenage slang was well developed at that point in time and I am sure it had probably been around in some form for many generations before that.
     
    Zombie_61 and LizzieMaine like this.
  5. dh66

    dh66

    Messages:
    12,254
    Location:
    down south
    Tom Dalzell wrote an interesting book on the topic called "Flappers 2 Rappers", a dictionary of American youth slang from the 1920 on up through the decades. Published in 2010, it's not the freshest take on the topic, but is an interesting read, nonetheless. I need to dig up my copy and leave it conspicuously where my own teenaged children can find it.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
    Zombie_61 and tonyb like this.
  6. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The point and purpose, of course, of teen slang in any generation is for it to be impenetrable and inscrutable to outsiders -- aka parents and other old people. If you find it annoying, that's the point.
     
    vitanola, Zombie_61 and tonyb like this.
  7. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

    Messages:
    7,875
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    I wonder if a slang expression’s odds of becoming more widely accepted is roughly proportionate to how “naturally” it is spoken. You know, unforced, unaffected.
     
    Zombie_61 likes this.
  8. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,760
    Location:
    Illinois
    Could well be. I would also think that especially in our internet and social media world that popularity of new slang words would be affected by the popularity of the speaker of the word in question. Just as it probably was in the past in radio programs, movies and magazines.
     
    Zombie_61 likes this.
  9. Hercule

    Hercule Practically Family

    Messages:
    540
    Location:
    Western Reserve (Cleveland)
    In grad school we kept a tally as to how many times a certain professor (an august old fuddy-duddy quite resembling Burl Ives) said "as such". I was crestfallen to learn from one of my own students that I too used a certain phrase all too often in the classroom. I can't remember what it was though.

    More recently I can't stand hearing "my bad". To which I usually reply "your bad what?"
     
  10. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

    Messages:
    7,875
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    We’d find these verbal tics less annoying if those so habitually employing them were otherwise sympathetic.
     
    dh66 and 3fingers like this.
  11. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

    Messages:
    7,875
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    I just saw an advertisement on this site for a local HVAC and plumbing outfit featuring an endorsement from some fellow I had never heard of before. “I love these guys,” it reads, under a photo of his face. He is identified as a Super Bowl champion.

    Did he play for the local mercenary force? Beats me. He isn’t, to my knowledge, a “name” athlete. But I’m betting he got a free water heater or something for lending his name and headshot to the ad campaign.

    It doesn’t annoy nearly so much as it amuses.
     
  12. Lean'n'mean

    Lean'n'mean My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,352
    Location:
    Cloud-cuckoo-land
    I'm still at the grunt stage so I can't add anything pertinant to this discussion but " Bear with".....I've always found it strange that a series of noises made by a human mouth could be given sufficient meaning as to produce a language (or languages)
    And why are there so many languages & not just one ? Why did someone from Ouzbekistan decide that a particular noise meant something whilst another in Romania decided that it doesn't mean anything at all. So you see my dilemma.
    Strange things these human beings.
     
    Touchofevil, Zombie_61 and dh66 like this.
  13. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,464
    Location:
    New Forest
    If you mean that a slang word becomes part of the lexicon I do so get that. Here in the UK we have a slang word that at first glance seems to be an alternative to a profanity. The word is "Faf" or faff, or pfaff, as it's a made up word I really don't know how it's spelt.
    The dictionary gives an example as: "To spend your time doing a lot of things that are not important instead of the thing that you should be doing: I wish you'd stop faffing about and do something useful!"
    Faff is used by all and sundry, including journalists, it really has entered our every day speech.

    Now I mentioned that it could be a corruption of the more profane 'F' word, it's possible but highly unlikely. Just as 3fingers suggests:
    The F word itself is perhaps one of the most (secretly) over-used words in the English language. And given the fake news and false evidence of the internet, the explanation of that vulgar word was once defined for me by no less than a catholic priest. And if you have ever heard a guy in a dog collar come out with the "F" word, believe you me, it's akin to a nun taking her bra off in public. What he told me was that the word is an acronym.

    Back in the days when adultery was a crime, those who were guilty of this heinous offence were known to be: "Found Under Carnal Knowledge." I promise, I'm not making this up.

    You don't know the story of the Tower of Babel, shame on you. (I jest)
    Tower of Babel, in biblical literature, structure built in the land of Shinar (Babylonia) some time after the Deluge. The story of its construction, given in Genesis 11:1–9, appears to be an attempt to explain the existence of diverse human languages. According to Genesis, the Babylonians wanted to make a name for themselves by building a mighty city and a tower “with its top in the heavens.” God disrupted the work by so confusing the language of the workers that they could no longer understand one another. The city was never completed, and the people were dispersed over the face of the earth.
     
  14. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

    Messages:
    7,875
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    I recommend a good linguistics survey course. I recommend it to most everybody. It might dispel many a commonly held prejudice and misconception about how language actually works. It certainly did that for me.

    As I’m sure I’ve observed here before, had more people been so educated we would have been spared much plainly bigoted and ill-informed commentary regarding the “Ebonics” dustup in Oakland several years back. Black American English is every bit as rule-governed, as internally consistent, as what escapes the mouths of any member of the British royalty.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
    LizzieMaine and dh66 like this.
  15. KILO NOVEMBER

    KILO NOVEMBER Practically Family

    Messages:
    771
    Location:
    Cheapeake Bay Drainage Basin
    I recommend John McWhorter, either in written form or one of his The Great Courses titles. He is very knowledgeable and has an engaging style.
     
  16. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

    Messages:
    7,875
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    I’ll have to do that. He seems an fascinating fellow, and not locked into anyone else’s orthodoxy.

    He has a podcast as well. I’m listening to it at present. Can’t beat the price.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  17. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,252
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    That reminds me that I once got into a conversation with someone in Hawaii (we were attending a concert at the Bishop Museum). In response to something she said, I replied "Hawaiian Pidgin is actually a creole language" or something like that. To which she doubled-down by saying "It's not a language. It is bad English spoken by uneducated people." I was absolutely floored.
     
    vitanola, Harp and tonyb like this.
  18. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

    Messages:
    7,875
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    What can you do?

    An uneducated person insists others are uneducated. I don’t know how to reach such people, but I’m pretty sure I know how not to reach them. The need to feel superior is, in most cases, a response to a sense of personal inferiority, so telling them they’re wrong usually just causes them to dig in their heels.

    It’s reminiscent of the “social drinker” who insists alcohol isn’t a drug.
     
    vitanola likes this.
  19. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The dismissal of legitimate dialects as "uneducated people speaking poor English", or even the insistence that there is, in fact, a single legitimate form of "standard English" is entirely a social construction, not a linguistic one. A Marxist would say it's a means of class oppression, a linguist would say it's a sign of someone who doesn't understand how language works, but either way, there just ain't no "one true English," Warriners' Grammar be damned. Language is a living thing, not some embalmed cultural mummy that exists to serve some political purpose.

    I actually studied the linguisitic rules of African American Vernacular English in some depth at one point, just out of curiosity, and found it an absolutely fascinating subject. Start with J. L. Dillard, move on to William Labov, and take it from there. And I'll add that the Gullah translation of the New Testament is one of the most beautiful, evocative uses of language that I've ever read.
     
    vitanola likes this.
  20. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,464
    Location:
    New Forest
    If The Romans had the printing press technology we might all be speaking Latin today. There again, the evolution of Latin is such that even modern day Italian is far removed from the original. I wonder if there was speech snobbery in Roman times?
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.