Heard on MSNBC

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 10 04:45:43 UTC 2009

The threat,

"I'm going to beat _the black_ off you!"

is a threat that has been used by black parents since at least my
grandfather's (1877-1957) day.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

On Sat, May 9, 2009 at 8:19 AM, Victor <aardvark66 at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: Â  Â  Â  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Â  Â  Â  Victor <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Â  Â  Â Re: Heard on MSNBC
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I would find it hard to believe that "the stupid" and "the ugly" in this
> usage (as in "beat the stupid/ugly out of him") is particularly recent.
> The people I heard it from first are in their 40s and 50s now, although
> it might have been a regional expression back in the 1980s and is more
> widespread now (thanks, likely, to TV).
> As for "the gay" for Maddow, it is not accidental. She mocks the
> conservatives with it because it is not an uncommon expression in "us
> vs. them" rhetoric. I doubt that the self-appointed "anti-sodomite"
> crusaders are familiar with "the Other", but they certainly use "the
> gay" in the same manner.
> On a somewhat different note, I often hear from second-language
> learners, particularly Chinese and Italian natives, expressions like
> "He's _a gay_." I find at least a bit of irony in that.
> Â  Â VS-)
> Herb Stahlke wrote:
>> I'm guessing that you're a bit younger than I am. Â Is this a
>> generational or an age-graded usage?
>> Herb
>> On Fri, May 8, 2009 at 9:34 PM, Kari Castor <castor.kari at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I don't know about the relative newness, but it's quite a common usage among
>>> the people I know.
>>> the hiv (for this type of usage, HIV is typically pronounced phonetically,
>>> not spelled out) - as in, "Don't touch Paris Hilton; you'll get the hiv."
>>> the stupid - as in, "That guy has a bad case of the stupid."
>>> the ugly - as in, "Lucky that kid didn't catch the ugly from his parents."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list