Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Say what?

One of my little hobbies is paying attention to subtle changes in our language. My favorite is the way the word party became a verb. “I’m going to party” has a completely different connotation than “I’m going to a party”. The former has a drug and alcohol subtext, while the latter sounds more like ice cream and cake, but either can be used by children of all ages.
Of course, we have been using "like" when we mean "said" for ages, and it seems to be engrained now; as are anyways, same difference and an old favorite, "a whole nother".

I guess those little colloquialisms are supposed to be charming or cute, but what they usually do is make adults sound like children, which is almost never a good idea, unless there are drugs and alcohol involved. Maybe parents pick it up from their kids, I don’t know, since I am not around children all that much. It is probably why I only speak like that when drugs and alcohol are involved.
The most recent one is the way the word so has become an adverb. I was listening to a radio ad for an HBO documentary about Barbaro [see “Beating a Dead Horse”]. One of the voice-overs was bemoaning Barbaro’s fate by saying, “People so wanted it to end with a positive ending.” Yes, they really did.

They so really did.

Maybe I pay more attention to these types of things than most (and why?), but certain things stay with me, while other things (such as "where did I park my car?") vanish into cranium-thin air:
I remember when prog-rock kings Renaissance put out their Azure d'Or album in 1979. By this time, they were clinging to their already thin audience, and fading fast. Former WIOQ DJ Helen Leicht remarked, "Boy, just what this band needs is an album with a name that people can't pronounce."
Then Halley’s Comet came around in 1986. My whole life I had been saying HAY-lees, only to find out it is pronounced Hal-lees. A subtle difference which I figured was either a genuine error or just some scientists trying to make themselves sound smarter than they really were. It is coming back in 2062, when it will by then be known as Comet Halley.
Last weekend I saw tennis analyst Bud Collins (not a scientist) interviewing Maria Sharapova after one of her matches in the French Open. He sat down next to her and introduced her as Maria Sha-RAP-po-va – accent on the RAP. I’ve been saying Shara-pova like everyone else. Is Bud correct or is he trying to look like the smartest guy in the room? Geez – far be it from someone in the pro tennis community to appear pretentious, eh?

Now, it’s off to Bulle Rock [pronounced bully rock] in Havre de Grace [pronounced HAV-ur dee GRACE] and the serene (and only slightly pretentious) world of professional golf, namely the LPGA McDonald's Championship. Wednesday is the practice round (which will also be practice for me, since I've never been to a tournament) and Thursday is the start of competition. According to the good folks at the LPGA, Wednesday's practice starts at 7am, with the first shuttle leaving at 6:30am. Egad, I guess I'd better get some sleep.
Paula Creamer is playing well, Christie Kerr is due to win something, Annika is back on the course after her injury rehab and I don’t have to go back to work until Monday. My life rocks for five days!
I am so looking forward to this.


kimmyk said...

Anthony I hope you rock those five days off!

The English language has changed so much and the slang...forget it. Proper English is a thing of the past.

Just ask my kids. I'm always sayin' "What the hell does that mean?"

Sparky Duck said...

I expect some good practice round pictures at least, though I stil think your the Mad Hatter.

Hey lay off Barbaro!!

Ladyred said...

When I here others (adults) talk like that I think they just sound so childish and it's not very becoming. And then I have to think if I speak like that. On occasion, I realize I do. But it's usually when my niece is around. I think adults (whether consciously or subconsciously) don't want to grow up, they want to still be 'cool'. Just a thought.

Have so much fun! I watch the weather up there since my best friend lives in Maryland, supposed to be a hot one.