going tonto

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun May 19 02:14:05 UTC 2002

>A stupid
>#derivation of a stupid expression IMHO.
>#The typical user of expressions such as "majorly", "go tonto" does not
>#speak foreign languages ... perhaps can hardly manage his domestic one ....
>In that case the person whose post I am quoting is highly atypical. I
>suggest you reexamine your stereotypes.

Perhaps the person is deliberately using peculiar language for comic or
other effect (as I do too, sometimes to poor effect, as above). Of course I
was 'speaking' lightly, and I didn't mean to criticize the user but rather
the usage ... but probably my joke was neither useful nor polite anyway. At
least I should have appended a smiley-face or a "[joke]" disclaimer.

I do feel that the language can do without the adverbs "majorly" and
"minorly", and also without the pejorative expression "go tonto"
[etymologically (I believe) like "go American-Indian" but apparently used
like "go ape" etc.] (note that the radio/TV Tonto was *not* portrayed as
hysterical or savage or undignified).

But I should have been more cautious about blurting out my
probably-idiosyncratic reactions.

My apologies.

-- Doug Wilson

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