and sometimes y 3rd program
Week 3 for And Sometimes Y and still going strong (here’s week one and here’s week two). Today was all about slang and it was pretty cool to listen to different age groups (teenagers and seniors) and what words they use(d) as slang. I had to laugh out loud when the teenagers found it hilarious to use the word “awesome”. A true indicator, I suppose that you were alive in the eighties and early nineties. They thought it was hilarious. And definitely would never use it (what an appalling thought). The teenagers used words I had never heard of — such as “chopping” to go looking for girls to “pick up”. Which made me realize “pick up” and “hit on” are also slang.
Russell Smith also spoke with David Burke of Slangman Publishing who gave us a taste of slang of the jazz era, the seventies, surfer speak and valley girl nineties speak. The overuse of the word “like” I remember is one that drove my parents crazy. I believe I have purged it from my vocabulary — or make a concsious effort to do so.
In speaking with seniors who talk about nifty, jezzebells, and things being swell, to the teenagers who say that things are sick, you realize that as you grow out of using slang. Eventually you become the authority figure you are trying to decieve and you have to communicate with people beyond your age group.
While the word cool has managed to transcend these barriers, and I wish we still spoke in jazzspeak just because it sounds cool and quite poetic in its rhythms, I like that you can place a person in a decade or a time period just based on the slang that they do or do not know. It is pretty cool.