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The Slang Generation Checkup

A discussion of slang and the changes it undergoes.

The Slang Generation Checkup

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:23 pm

I would like to welcome everyone to this new forum with an announcement and an invitation. alphaDictionary will undertake in the coming academic year the creation of a major language resource on slang. Here is the official announcement of a central feature of it:

We are beta-testing a major new feature of the alphaDictionary website (alpha-beta: get it?) which you might enjoy helping with. We have now developed a test (we are tentatively calling it a "Checkup") for the generation which your speech—specifically your slang—identifies you with. In other words, you tell our magic machine which slang terms you used in high school or college, and it will tell you when you attended those schools (in case, like me, you can't always remember).

Like our Rebel-Yankee Test, our aim is to acquaint our visitors with a fascinating element of language, this time, slang. We start with a short exegesis on the nature of slang, then procede to our usual 20 questions. This time, though, the questions are about the slang expression used in your high school and college years. When this information is gathered, our "Generational Slang Engine" will pin-point (where "pin" refers to a rolling pin) the decade of your high school-college years.

I personally think that once we get sufficient feedback, we will be able to do more than pinpoint the decade. I think we can eventually make a pretty good stab at the age of the person undergoing the checkup. However, for the time being, our goals are modest.

If you think you might be interested in serving as a guinea pig in this endeavor, click here to go to the check up page. Remember, at present this is a top secret project, so keep it to yourself except for your feedback here. Simply convey your impressions in a response to this post or send me an e-mail message through my profile page.
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Postby gailr » Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:39 pm

I scoped it out. It was groovy. :D
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Postby sluggo » Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:58 pm

I got pegged a bit early :shock:

Could be because slang is not only time-sensitive but somewhat geographical*. I recall in HS one kid who moved from NY, less than 100 miles away, and had the habit of describing positives as "boss". We didn't know what he was talking about but he soon dug the scene and cooled it.

We never did get "bitchin'" either :) thanks for small favours.

*and gender-sensitive in some cases: #s 10/11 are (almost?) entirely male terms. Not sure if this indicates there are few female terms (do females have their own terms guise don't know about?) or just that we still tend to equate such negative traits with males... see also 17, 20 even 15, 13? Discussion of Estrogenics? (or is it Estroenics)?

Doctor GW, thanks for all your innovation. Some fascinating terms I've never heard here, and I'll be sure to adopt them to further muddy the water.
Last edited by sluggo on Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bailey » Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:33 pm

Dr GW sounds like your site is the real alpha-omega in language at least for English.

mark speaks-good-English Bailey

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Postby sluggo » Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:00 pm

Another worthy inclusion on the quiz might be positive adjectives:

neat/keen/swell/nifty
dynamite
far out
cool
(original)
cool (resurgent)
outasite (with its child out of hand)
&c
and qualifiers such as way

...not to mention vast volumes of terms for the sexually attractive...
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Postby Bailey » Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:47 pm

can some'buddy' please post the link to the quiz, sigh, I couldn't find it, shee, bad day at black rock.

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Postby Huny » Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:52 pm

Bailey wrote:can some'buddy' please post the link to the quiz, sigh, I couldn't find it, shee, bad day at black rock.

mark not-with-"it"-today Bailey


Go to site news. The first Item on the main page. I left my remarks on that thread not this one. Oops?
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Postby skinem » Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:05 pm

Farm out and outta state! It's also been interesting to me how some slang terms migrate from one portion of the country to the other. In the south during the '802-early 90s, then moved to cowboy eastern Oregon in 1992, where no one had heard the expression "My bad"--very common in the South. Of course, after a couple of years, it was everywhere in Oregon as well. (NOT my fault!)
But, Oregonians were using a term for "expensive" that I hadn't heard before--"spendy". Havent' heard that one migrate.

Reminded me of a couple of sites I used to have bookmarked when I was still working in schools--sometimes kids would come up with words someone on the staff hadn't heard before and we'd have to check it out...I'll post them if I can find them.

I ran across this site a couple of days ago..."Urban Dictionary" thought Malachi might like it!
http://www.urbandictionary.com/
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Postby malachai » Wed Aug 09, 2006 8:02 pm

skinem wrote:I ran across this site a couple of days ago..."Urban Dictionary" thought Malachi might like it!
http://www.urbandictionary.com/


cheers! That's pretty neat. It's not exactly discriminating, though, is it? I have no idea how common these terms are. some of the definitions are funny, though.

peace out
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Postby Perry » Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:17 pm

sluggo wrote:Another worthy inclusion on the quiz might be positive adjectives:

neat/keen/swell/nifty
dynamite
far out
cool
(original)
cool (resurgent)
outasite (with its child out of hand)
&c
and qualifiers such as way

...not to mention vast volumes of terms for the sexually attractive...


Right on, Sluggo. Right on!

On the whole, a very good quizz. I was correctly peged for the 60's. (I graduated from HS in 1971)
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:02 pm

On the whole, a very good quizz. I was correctly peged for the 60's. (I graduated from HS in 1971)


Wow! Our first success! Maybe it will be possible. (We're keeping our fingers crossed.) Of course, it is just for fun so thanks for the terms that we missed. You will probably see some of them as this new venture evolves.
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Postby sluggo » Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:53 am

skinem wrote:Farm out and outta state! It's also been interesting to me how some slang terms migrate from one portion of the country to the other. In the south during the '802-early 90s, then moved to cowboy eastern Oregon in 1992, where no one had heard the expression "My bad"--very common in the South. Of course, after a couple of years, it was everywhere in Oregon as well.


Well, there's no accounting for tastes... :evil:

skinem wrote:I ran across this site a couple of days ago..."Urban Dictionary" thought Malachi might like it!
http://www.urbandictionary.com/


That can be a handy-spandy site sometimes but to be taken with mountains of salt. You can find 30 different meanings for a single word and vote each one up or down. I first went in there looking for consensus on the spelling of "gak" (I thought it should be "gack") for the theatrical term. You can insert missing terms (I did the verb to gaff around the time Gail started the Gaffers thread) or just make stuff up, which seems popular.
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Postby skinem » Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:30 am

That can be a handy-spandy site sometimes but to be taken with mountains of salt. You can find 30 different meanings for a single word and vote each one up or down. I first went in there looking for consensus on the spelling of "gak" (I thought it should be "gack") for the theatrical term. You can insert missing terms (I did the verb to gaff around the time Gail started the Gaffers thread) or just make stuff up, which seems popular.


It is a somewhat entertaining site, but not always easy to navigate and of doubtful accuracy--like Wikipedia! You have to wonder about a site that invites you to post your own "factual" articles. Did you know during the Revolutionary War there was a Battle of Left Elbow? I didn't either until I wrote all about it! It eventually was found to be of suspicious veracity (I'm shocked, shocked, I say!) and was removed after several days.
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Postby sluggo » Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:46 pm

skinem wrote:It is a somewhat entertaining site, but not always easy to navigate and of doubtful accuracy--like Wikipedia! You have to wonder about a site that invites you to post your own "factual" articles. Did you know during the Revolutionary War there was a Battle of Left Elbow? I didn't either until I wrote all about it! It eventually was found to be of suspicious veracity (I'm shocked, shocked, I say!) and was removed after several days.


The other day from Wiki I pulled up "the Democratic Party is one of five-hundred forty two political parties in the U.S..." -then downstairs in the midst of the same article it suddenly broke off and meandered into "I like eggs. Eggs are good. I'm hungry. Yum... what was I saying?"

However it seems on Wikipedia you get these gems only here and there, whereas the Urpin' Dicitonary supplies them with every word. They could be more creative though; it seems to regularly descend into the vulgar.
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Postby Stargzer » Sun Aug 13, 2006 4:00 pm

Far Out! Far Farking Out!

(Which should be added to the test. "You bet you bippie" and "Sock it to me" would only peg when and what one watched on TV.)

1950s: Does the thought of pegged pants and poodle skirts make you tingle?


Actually, no. It has my birth decade correct, but I was graduated from high school in 1969, college in 1973.
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