Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Revolutionary Language: Don't Speak, I Know Just What You're Saying

[Disclaimer: You know how The NY Times likes to publish stories that claim to discover and advance self-described "trends" that've already been discovered/advanced in other publications months (sometimes years) earlier? (See today's "Sunday Styles "cover story - The Lost Summer: "For a small but growing number of college-bound students, summer has become a time of resume-building,") This entry might be kinda like that, I think, but I'm too busy to find out for sure.]

Additional side note: Read "Please Sir, I Want Some More!"

  • How We Talk Now:
    When we're not super-busy whoring ourselves on myspace or sending text messages with the fury of hyper-social squirrels, my generation (and by this I mean my friends, because those are the only people in my generation that I actually, you know, "know") is marching dutifully into the history books, following the radical generations before us by developing our own "dialect." Me-bonics, if you will.

    Sometimes a certain phrase magically invades our generational consciousness ... slimes its way into our everyday speech and remains there. We don't know where these things come from (like G-d, gravity, etc.), but they just come!

    Some select phenoms:

    1. "I feel like":
    A few years ago, "I feel like" became the standard way to begin a sentence. I think it's because we want to distance ourselves from ever really standing behind anything we say. Often we also anchor our statements with "Or no?" or "Right" or "sorta." Far too often, we replace "I think" or "I know" with "I feel like." Girls do it more than boys, because girls are more insecure (this is a fact). Pictured below is the master of "I feel like," my best friend Natalie:

    Further examples:

    "I feel like maybe I need to go to the gym before I do my homework, do you think, or no?"

    "I feel like if he liked you, he would have called by now."

    2. "Which is Fine"/"But it's fine":

    The meaning of this is very simple: "It is not fine." It is said quickly at the end of a sentence, or at a break in a sentence. People seem to be using this particular phrase a lot lately, which I think is because we all have areas of our lives that are not fine.

    "So I was throwing up for three hours after all those vodka shots and then I had to go to work at seven in the morning and didn't have money for a metrocard--but it's fine."

    "He's going to date whomever he wants but I'm supposed to like, stay home and wait for him to get back from his dates--which is fine--I mean, I don't have anyone else I'm like, super-interested in anyhow."

    3. Insertion of internet-lingo into spoken language

    Although I loathe the phrase "LOL" when speaking on "AIM" (which I pronounce as an acronym, not as a word for what you do with a Super Soaker, which p.s. I never had because my Mom wouldn't buy me toys that weren't grown on an organic farm), I love it when people use it in real life. My generation sort of missed the AIM boom by like, two years, which is why we can use these phrases with delightful irony and also speak on AIM itself as if we were 12 and perhaps--perhaps--also "blog" as if we were 12!!!

    Or saying BRB. That's another good one.

    I further explore the intricacies of LOLing on AIM in this footnote, on my new companion-blog, morepotatoproducts. This footnote/companion/additional boring stuff Blog is called "Please Sir, I Want Some More," and although more details on it will follow later, I must say: WHY SHOULD YOU ASK WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT'S IN STORE?

    3b. Referring to human beings as their internet alter-egos

    A lot of us are stuck with the screen-names we created for our imaginary-cool selves in 7th grade. I am one of these people.

    A lot of us are still not actually cool. I am also one of these people.

    In any event, I'm a big fan of referring to people by their screen-names, e.g., there was this girl named Allison who liked my boyfriend back in the day, but I always called her AllyBoo because that was her screen-name and I wanted to be as condescending as possible.

    4. Oldies But Goodies: some more of our special dialect ...

    "By that I mean" and "By that I mean not at all."

    "Yeah, I did a lot of homework today and by that I mean I watched a Real World marathon."

    "Yeah, that date with the random guy I met at the nerve party was hella hot...and by that I mean not at all."

    5. This post would be incomplete without the inclusion of Lo and I's favorite verb ... blog-worthy!


    Nicoel said...

    So true.

    In fact, I don't even use my hotmail account anymore solely because the address references a middle school boyfriend, and I really don't think anyone wants to hear that story...and by that I mean, I'm embarrased to tell it, and admit that I'm still just as lame

    asdfasdfasdf said...

    I know what your saying. I'm still using my hotmail from like 4 years ago. I hate telling people my address because it's kind of embarassing... Also another part of the english language that is for some reason becoming popular is people saying stuff like, "yeh (yes) cuz (because or cause) da (this is the worst one, the)." That kind of stuff is sooo annoying. Anyways, great blog.

    riese said...

    Luckily I had the incredible pre-teen foresight of chosing "Plaster176" as an AIM name (which I did specifically because I felt like it didn't mean anything...then my friends started creating names like Cement671 and Mortar167 to join the building-materials bandwagon)..and by that I mean--all my passwords still reference middle school boyfriends, and my very first AIM name was PopTartGod. Cuz I ate pop tarts while I flirted with strangers in chat rooms. Sigh.

    Anonymous said...

    "I feel like" and "by that I mean" are two of my favorite phrases of all time, along with "That was way harsh, Ty"

    A lot of times, when I say "I feel like" I start to, er, feel like I am on Laguna Beach, b/c I am usually in the middle of the one of the dumbest conversations ever. I find that I say it a lot less frequently than I used to, but now I really make it count because I say it in intensely ditzy situations. Like, I feel like I say "i feel like" if I am at the mall with cassia, and we're debating the merits of flippy jean skirts, or talking about how we don't know how to change a tire, or something along those lines. A lot of times when I am talking to her, and probably saying "I feel like" a lot, that scene where Jessica tells Alex that it's "don't hate the game, hate the player" pops into my head, and I am simultaneously filled with giddy glee and dizzying shame. And that's one of the reasons I love Cassia so much.

    Anonymous said...

    I'm impressed with your site, very nice graphics!

    Anonymous said...

    would it be possible to lie more than you already do? your whole life is a lie.... and i think you know to what i am refering...

    your "job" perhaps????

    Anonymous said...

    I really enjoyed looking at your site, I found it very helpful indeed, keep up the good work.

    Anonymous said...

    This site is one of the best I have ever seen, wish I had one like this.

    Anonymous said...

    I find some information here.