BC-USA-LANGUAGE

Posted on in Politica e lingue 26 vedi

BC-USA-LANGUAGE

LOS ANGELES, SEPT 24 (REUTER) – IT’S NOT ENGLISH, IT’S AMERICAN.
THIS IS THE LAND OF "PSYCHOBABBLE" AND "BUSHLIPS," THE HOME OF THE "CLINTON" AND THE "MICHAEL JACKSON." IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA T#HEY SPEAK AMERICAN, NOT ENGLISH.
JIM CROTTY HAS SPENT MORE THAN A DECADE TRAVELING FROM STATE TO STATE IN HIS MOTOR HOME PUBLISHING HIS ALTERNATIVE TRAVEL GUIDE, "MONK MAGAZINE." HIS BOOK, "HOW TO TALK AMERICAN," PUBLISHED THIS MONTH BY MARINER BOOKS, HAS INSIGHT INTO EVERYTHING FROM VEGAS VERNACULAR TO REDNECK RHETORIC.
"THIS IS WHERE WE ARE LINGUISTICALLY IN AMERICA, FOR BETTER OR WORSE. TAKE WHAT YOU LIKE AND LEAVE THE REST," CROTTY SAID IN AN INTERVIEW WITH REUTERS.
SAYING GOODBYE IN LOS ANGELES IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE. IN THE CITY OF ANGELS THERE ARE THREE BASIC WAYS TO BID FAREWELL: "I’LL CALL YOU" MEANS GET LOST, YOU’LL NEVER HEAR FROM ME AGAIN. "LET’S DO LUNCH" MEANS I LIKE YOU BUT YOU’RE A LOSER. "LET’S DO SUSHI" SIGNALS THE START OF A TRUE FRIENDSHIP.
BUT CALIFORNIA’S BIGGEST CONTRIBUTION TO THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE IS THE USE OF THE MOST VERSATILE WORD EVER — YOU GUESSED IT, "LIKE." LIKE, A WORD PRECEDING EVERY, LIKE, NOUN AND, LIKE, VERB, IS ALMOST THE ONLY DESCRIPTION NEEDED IN A WORLD WHERE ADJECTIVES ARE, LIKE, BECOMING A DYING BREED.
"THERE IS A DEFINITE DECLINE OF PEOPLE’S ABILITY TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES IN A VERY SPECIFIC WAY," CROTTY SAID OF THE EVER MORE PERVASIVE USE OF SLANG ACROSS AMERICA.

STARLETS WITH A RIG?
HOLLYWOOD GAVE US PAMELA ANDERSON LEE, DEMI MOORE AND MORE BREAST IMPLANTS THAN ANY OTHER CITY ON EARTH, BUT DON’T CALL THEM FAKE BREASTS, CALL THEM A "RIG." AND WHILE WE’RE TALKING ABOUT SURGERY, A "MICHAEL JACKSON" IS PLASTIC SURGERY THAT WENT HORRIBLY WRONG. BUT THE POP STAR DENIES HE EVER HAD HIS NOSE AND CHEEKS DONE, WHICH LEADS NICELY TO THE "CLINTON."
SOME OF THE PRESIDENT’S DETRACTORS ON CAPITOL HILL HAVE GIVEN NEW MEANING TO HIS NAME. A "CLINTON," THEY SAY, IS A COMPLETE POLICY REVERSAL. NATURALLY THERE IS MORE THAN ONE KIND: A "HALF CLINTON" IS A REGULAR POLICY REVERSAL, A "FULL CLINTON" IS A POLICY REVERSAL WITH FEELING, WHILE A "DOUBLE CLINTON" IS A REVERSAL FOLLOWED BY A DENIAL OF THE REVERSAL.
BUT LANGUAGE WITH A POLITICAL BITE IS BIPARTISAN. CLINTON’S SUPPORTERS HAD ALREADY COINED THE WORD "BUSHLIPS," MEANING A DISINGENUOUS POLITICAL STATEMENT. THE EXPRESSION CAME ABOUT AFTER GEORGE BUSH’S INFAMOUS 1988 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN PROCLAMATION "READ MY LIPS: NO NEW TAXES."
AND, WHILE WE’RE TALKING POLITICS, A "GRASSY KNOLL THEORY" IS A COCK-EYED CONSPIRACY SCENARIO, SUCH AS THIRD PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ROSS PEROT’S CLAIM THAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ATTEMPTED TO SABOTAGE HIS DAUGHTER’S WEDDING. THE TERM COMES FROM THE NEVER-ENDING DEBATE OVER THE 1963 ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY.
CROTTY WORRIES THAT THE FRAGMENTATION OF LANGUAGE "IS A REAL DANGER TO DEMOCRACY."
"THERE IS A DANGER WITH THE BALKANIZATION OF LANGUAGE THAT YOU WILL HAVE ENCLAVES OF PEOPLE LIVING WITHIN AMERICA COMPLETELY SEPARATE FROM THE REST OF AMERICA AND COMPLETELY SELF SUFFICIENT," HE SAID.

BEWARE ‘ROCKY MT. OYSTERS’ ON MENU
HIS LINGUISTIC CONCERNS DO NOT FOCUS ONLY ON POLITICS. NO BOOK ON AMERICAN LIFE WOULD BE COMPLETE WITHOUT FOOD.
WHEN IN THE MIDWEST, BEWARE IF YOU SEE "ROCKY MOUNTAIN OYSTERS" ON THE MENU. THEY ARE ACTUALLY THE FRIED TESTICLES OF A YOUNG BULL. WANT TO WASH THEM DOWN WITH COFFEE? HOW ABOUT A "DOUBLE NO FUN" (A DOUBLE DECAF LATTE) OR "THUNDER THIGHS" (A DOUBLE TALL MOCHA WITH FULL-FAT MILK AND EXTRA WHIPPED CREAM)?
IN THE WORLD OF CRIME, AN "ALASKA DIVORCE" IS MURDERING ONE’S SPOUSE. THE EXPRESSION WAS COINED BY LOCALS WHO JOKE ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF DEPRESSION DURING THE LONG DARK WINTERS. AND THE "ALMOND JOY THEORY" IS WHEN A SUSPECT’S BEHAVIOR CANNOT BE EXPLAINED. IT WAS INSPIRED BY THE SLOGAN FOR THE POPULAR CANDY BAR, "SOMETIMES YOU FEEL LIKE A NUT, SOMETIMES YOU DON’T."
AND WHEN IN AMERICA YOU SIMPLY MUST TALK PSYCHOBABBLE.
"I HONOR THAT" IS THE MOST ANNOYING EXPRESSION, CROTTY SAID. IT MEANS I RESPECT WHAT YOU’RE SAYING, I’M AT ONE WITH YOUR FEELINGS AND OPINIONS, YOUR ESSENCE. USE IT WITH A HUSHED, EARNEST TONE FOR MAXIMUM EFFECT.
"REBIRTHING" IS JUST PRICEY HYPERVENTILATION, WHILE A "SAFE SPACE" IS A WORKSHOP WHERE YOU ARE FREE TO EXPLORE YOUR INNER SELF. "USE YOUR WORDS" IS GOOD ADVICE FOR WIFE-BEATERS, WHO OBVIOUSLY HAVE BEEN USING THEIR FISTS TO "CONNECT."
IF SOMEONE TELLS YOU "I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT" YOU PROBABLY HAVE SAID SOMETHING DEEMED POLITICALLY INCORRECT. YOUR "BAGGAGE" IS YOUR ISSUES — ALSO KNOW AS "DYSFUNCTIONS" — WHICH MAY STEM FROM "HIDDEN ANGER" TOWARD YOUR FAMILY. SO EXPRESS YOUR RAGE AND FIND YOUR "INNER CHILD." YOU DESERVE IT!
AND REMEMBER WHEN YOU GO TO WORK NOT TO DIP YOUR PEN IN THE COMPANY INK, OR FISH OFF THE COMPANY PIER, OR GET YOUR MEAT AND BREAD IN THE SAME STORE. IN OTHER WORDS, DON’T DATE YOUR FELLOW WORKERS.
HAPPY TRAILS, DUDE, I’LL CALL YOU.
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