the oldest surviving slang

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Tue Jul 2 14:59:31 UTC 2002

Rick H Kennerly said:
>|o| >I always trot out "cool" as the longest-surviving lexical item that
>|o| >has retained its slang categorization.
>Have noticed a morphing of cool among younger people, particularly from the
>west coast.  For 5 years I've seen it in print in west coast based sailing
>magazines (Latitudes & Attitudes and Latitude 38) as "kewl" and hear it
>pronounced like kyule or kule--the k being very softly articulated.  And
>then there is it's kin "way kewl."

Seven or eight years ago, I heard a New York based radio ad (for
Tasty Kakes or some such) in which "kewl" and "cool" were
semantically and phonologically contrasted; a dad who was trying to
be with it said that the object being advertised was /kuwl/, and his
supercilious teenage son corrected him "ice is /kuwl/, $OBJECT is
/kyl/". (And, yes, $OBJECT is an *orthographic* example of
computer-geek argot, I would think...)


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