Conversate and basically

Bob Haas highbob at MINDSPRING.COM
Wed Jan 24 21:24:20 UTC 2001

It's yucky because it's not standard English, Beverly.  That doesn't
necessarily make it bad or evil or the first step down the slippery slope to
ruin for the language, but it does indicate that the speaker has neither the
time nor the inclination to discover the traditional term which he or she is
aiming for.  I find it charming and disarming in folks who've not had
extended educational opportunities.  I find it disturbing and reprehensible
and outright hilarious when it comes from folks who--I'm sorry to say
it--should know better.

Hey, I enjoy and love a fluid and lively language, one that is dynamic and
open to change.  But this, at least for me, is not that type of change.
It's just careless, and it smacks of the type of thinking that anytime one
can add a syllable to a term, whether it's valid or not, it's good.  Our
students don't need to see this type of hooey coming from either their
fellows, who set themselves up as semi-experts when they become writers, or
from the man who wants to become the nation's attorney general.  He should
know better, as well.

It's yucky.

Sorry--I'm not feeling very tolerant today.


> From: Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU>
> Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 10:52:21 -0500
> Subject: Re: Conversate and basically
> "Conversate" was used over a year ago by an African American columnist in
> our student newspaper.  What's yucky about it?
> _____________________________________________
> Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
> Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
> Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

More information about the Ads-l mailing list