DOTI (downgrading of text initialisms)

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sun Nov 28 21:24:40 UTC 2010

I was trying to avoid the words "phony" and "superficial," but that's how I felt about a large percentage of the Californians I met when I lived there. It is just a different social system, though one I will never be comfortable with. BB

On Nov 28, 2010, at 1:19 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> On Sun, Nov 28, 2010 at 7:01 AM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at> wrote:
>> her Californian friend invited to come to her house any time if she was in town, so she stopped by when she was. The Californian was put totally out because the invitation to stop by anytime is not an invitation to actually do so, merely an empty social nicety.
> That does take getting used to. After I moved to Los Angeles, I very
> quickly concluded that everyone there was totally phony. Back in the
> '70's, the Boston Phoenix newspaper sent a reporter to see what it was
> like in L.A. In his subsequent column, the reporter said the he had
> quite quickly buddied up with an Angeleno, only to have the guy just
> vanish out of the friendship. When he was finally able to track down
> his erstwhile "friend," he naturally asked what happened. The reply:
> "Look, man! I don't have time to fuck with the people that I *already* know!"
> Los Angeles in a nutshell.
> OTOH, this attitude, though usually not so extreme, is "general
> American," to coin a phrase. Tudor Ionescu, the TA who actually taught
> the course in place of the Harvard Great Name listed in the catalog,
> after explaining to the class how one asked, "How are you doing?" in
> Rumanian, muttered under his breath,
> "In Rumania, when we ask that, we really want to *know*!"
> And the American way is nothing new, regardless of race, etc. When I
> was a child East Texas in the late '30's, I was accustomed to hearing
> conversations like the following:
> A. "Hi yew? Pooty good."
> B. "Unh-hunh. *Yo'* mama-nim?"
> A."Dass nice."
> B. "Yay-uh. Sho' 'nuff."
> A and B continue on their separate ways, each still totally immersed
> in his own thoughts.

The American Dialect Society -

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