JAN: Everyone likes to complain about how the language is going down hill. How young people maul it, changing the meanings etc. I, for one, always grumble about the overuse of "what's up?"
It drives me crazy when I answer the phone and my daughter asks: What's up? I inevitably respond: I don't know, you called me. This is because I think "What's up?" should be a response, not a salutation.
I'll also never really like the ever-ready "sweet" and "sick" But I'm not here to complain. I want to point out the changes in the language I do like.
It's not a change in pronunciation, but a definite shift in emphasis. It's not really?? As in I'm semi-amazed. It's Real-y, as in I'm going to subtly suggest that you think about what you just said. THere seems to be a hole in your logic, I'm going to give you a moment to see that.
This is used, okay overused, as a superlative and supposedly comes from gamers (as in video-gamers.) Often heard: "That's Epic," I find the very enormity of the overstatement appealing.
When my son wanted to convey to my daughter that he really liked the girl he was seeing and now it was "serious," he said, "I guess I'm wifed up." The reason I found this interesting, rather than say, sexist, or demeaning to wives, was because he was happy about it. He also immediately added, "Just like you." (She's got a long term boyfriend.) Making the term non-gender related.
This is hardly new, but lately, I've been thinking how much I Iike this expression. By saying "My bad," you are not just accepting blame, you are acknowledging and reiterating a very important point: hey, we all make mistakes, this just happens to be mine.
My daughter uses this to refer to young women her age who go for the sexy-but-stupid look. It always makes me chuckle.
RO: I can't say "sweet" in today's usage with a straight face. I would feel like my mother saying "far out."
Wifed up..never heard that...is that the suburban version of mobbed up or lawyered up? If I didn't spend most of my days sitting in front of a computer talking to myself I might be more au courant. I can't remember the last sort of hip phrase that I truly adopted.
JAN: I think it's the college version.....
HANK: That's "sick"--meaning good--I don't get it. And yes, RO, I agree, sweet has passed us by. Happily. Even the people who say it somehow sound phony. (Oh, is phony passe?)
Cougar? Shall we discuss and dismiss?
And what happened with "good'?: How are you? Good! That seems to be completely socially acceptable. It's wrong, right?
And Jan, I often hear that new-ish use of reee--ly. Like (oops) a thoughtful response. And yes, it works.
JAN: Yes, Hank, I forgot about cougar. It so adeptly conveys aggression. I put that in the "good terminology" department.
RHYS: Sorry, but I can't stand My Bad. The grammarian in me shouts "My bad what?"
I realize that my language will never be hip. I didn't say "Far out" when it was in. I felt stupid saying "cool". So it's lucky I write historical novels where my protagonists can say things like "spiffing, and topping and Rah-ther!"
(Not that I ever said those either) but then I've only just found out who Lady Ga Ga is so I'm probably a hopeless case.
JAN: Except for the Glamazon Barbie outfits, I like Lady Ga Ga. What a voice!!
Please tell us your favorite new expression of use of language, and come back tomorrow when I interview Paula Munier, who co-authored a hysterical new book, Hot Flash Haiku.