This is no sh*t.

Jonathon Green slang at ABECEDARY.NET
Sat Jul 31 14:03:05 UTC 2004

If I may paraphrase an off-list mail to Tom Dalzell, 'had Wilson suggested
that women don't use slang, nor apparently coin slang, at leasts to the
extent that emn and do always have done' then I would essentially have
agreed with him.'  It was the idea that they might lack the intelligence
to understand it that spurred my response. (BTW, Tom also notes thr work
of Geneva Smitherman, Judi Sanders, Pam Munro, Louise Pound, Inez
Cardozo-Freeman). I am a lexicographer, and I don't have the time or
expertise to theorise, but it has always seemed to me that slang is the
exemplar of what the feminist author Dale Spender defined, in her
eponymously titled book (c. 1980) 'Man Made Language.' If anyone knows my
Slang Down the Ages'  ('Through...' in US) they will have seen this theory
in greater taxonomic detail. One needs but look, for instance, at the
themes that underpin the slang synonyms for 'penis' and vagina' to see the
way in which the male point of view almost invariably dominates. Why this
ishould be the case, I leave to others of greater skills to opine; but a
check through the headword lists of any slang dictionary will make it
abundantly clear that it _is_ the case. And while it may well be
stereotyping, you will search hard amongst those lists for many terms
pertaining to what are seen as 'feminine' attributes; caring, sharing,
compassion, and the like.

Jonathon Gree

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