FW: Antedating of "Doofus"

Mark A Mandel mam at THEWORLD.COM
Sat Jun 21 19:54:00 UTC 2003

On Thu, 19 Jun 2003, Frank Abate wrote:

#YES, all language is oral, and primarily so.  But that slang originates
#**solely** as oral is my main point.
#Much creative language is creative writing, and that can be formal,
#informal, even colloquial in nature, but is not the same as slang.  Writing
#can, of course, use slang terms, but they never START off in writing.
#I would contend that even graffiti that uses slang is repeating and
#recording "established" slang, not creating it at the time of the writing.

A generalization like this stimulates a reflex in me to seek
counterexamples. How would you classify the abbreviations and symbols
used in short messaging, which cause so much uproar (IMHO deservedly so)
when they appear in formal registers?

-- Mark A. Mandel

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