non-oral-origin slang

Dan Goodman dsgood at VISI.COM
Sat Jun 21 04:44:08 UTC 2003

Date:    Fri, 20 Jun 2003 09:53:55 -0400
From:    Frank Abate <abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET>
Subject: Re: The nature of slang and HDAS

Ed Gates makes some very good points in his comments on this thread.  I
would like to dispute the following, though:


Like Sidney, I don't think that slang is essentially oral. Most slang
usage has been oral, because it is a feature of informal communication.
Today more and more informal communication is in the electronic medium,
and it seems possible (though not likely) that its occurrence there might
overtake its oral use. Further, some in-groups communicate as much in
writing as in speech -- "God's truth" and "Hocus-pocus" were slang terms
used informally by descriptive linguists back around 1960.

I still hold out, saying that slang is fundamentally and essentially oral --
in its **origin**.  Please reply if you can show that this is not the case.

I haven't found an exact citation yet, but "fanzine" as used in
(organized) science fiction fandom and since then in various other
subcultures first showed up in print.  And the originator was deaf.
He's also credited with originating "prozine".

Dan Goodman dsgood at
Whatever you wish for me, may you have twice as much.

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