This is no sh*t.

Wilson Gray hwgray at EARTHLINK.NET
Sat Jul 31 19:26:02 UTC 2004

On Jul 31, 2004, at 10:03 AM, Jonathon Green wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathon Green <slang at ABECEDARY.NET>
> Subject:      Re: This is no sh*t.
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> 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.

Quite so. In fact, the realization that my sweeping generalization, as
I stated it, carried the implication that women are, in some sense,
intellectually "inferior" to men is what has finally persuaded me that
what I said, though it *feels* right to me  - probably only because
I've believed it for half a century - can not actually *be* right.

>  (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.

This is the way that I *ought* to have expressed my thoughts. Thank
you, Jonathon.

-Wilson Gray

> Jonathon Green

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