[Ads-l] 9to5Mac: "salty" in the wild, by coinkidink

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 5 21:19:26 UTC 2015

My use of the word "revival" in the earlier thread on "salty" was
based on research I had done for my Wall Street Journal column
(http://bit.ly/saltybz) after "salty" had been named Most Likely to
Succeed in the 2014 ADS WOTY voting. I had spoken at length to Pearl
Shavzin, who nominated "salty" in the category and has extensively
studied the fighting game community (FGC). As I note in the column,
FGC is a racially diverse subculture (compared to other gaming
subcultures), which may help to explain its recent rise.

>From what I gathered, until recently the "bitter/angry/upset" meaning
of "salty" was in continued use in just a few cities: Philadelphia,
Chicago, and possibly DC. Philly in particular seems to be a place
where "salty" held on as regional slang -- see the quote from
15-year-old Nisha Michelle I included from this Philadelphia Inquirer


If I underestimated the extent to which "salty" has remained in common
use in BE, then I humbly apologize for the mischaracterization.

On Fri, Jun 5, 2015 at 4:14 PM, Z Rice wrote:
> I would not agree that "holla" is a "revival", as I've heard it since I was
> a child, my father has heard it since he was a child, and it was spoken my
> grandparent (who is now pushing 100 y/o) and my great-grandparents (who are
> now deceased). It also occurs regularly in the slavery narratives. So it is
> not a "revival". It is a part of the everyday speech of the afro-american
> population. I use the term hesitantly because I am speaking specifically of
> the Black population that is native to this country (culturally,
> historically, etc).
> The difference is that it is now considered "stylish" or "trendy" by white
> youths. But this culture and speech does not suddenly come into existence -
> nor is it "revived" - when "discovered" by whites. That was the implication
> in Zimmer's (?) email and we find it all too often in such media.
> I'm not even convinced that the first "salty" meaning that he provided is
> even related to the afro-american usage of "salty". I have no reason to
> believe that.
> On Fri, Jun 5, 2015 at 9:44 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
> > Among comments WRT Apple's being threatened with legal action for being
> > "anti-competitive," because it demands a 30% cut from any other company
> > wanting to push product by participating in the so-called "Apple
> > ecosystem," forcing such company to take a 30% loss in gross profit or to
> > charge a fee 30% higher than Apple's, clearly a gigantic kick in the arse
> > for, e.g. Spotify, were:
> >
> > A: "Apple=E2=80=99s response to this should be: You don=E2=80=99t agree
> > wit=
> > h what we
> > charge, easy: remove your app from our ecosystem and go fuck yourself."
> >
> > B. "Are all Apple fanboiz so _salty_?"
> >
> > (Judging by other responses only trivially distinct from A's, the answer to
> > this question is a resounding "Yes!!!")
> >
> > IMO, this kind of thing represents a spread and not a "revival," since,
> > IME, "salty" has never not been alive and kicking in the BE "slang
> > ecosystem," to coin a phrase. OTOH, I would agree, were anyone to assert
> > it, that, e.g. "ADJ like that" or "holler"/"holla" are revivals. I've known
> > that there's a song with the title, "It's Tight Like That," since God
> > stretched out on the Seventh Day, but only relatively recently have I
> > actually *heard* "ADJ like that." Back in the day, "holler"/"holla" was
> > ordinary - in the mouth of my mother - b. 1913 - and in the mouths of other
> > ladies elderly like that. But, naturally, you wouldn't go about the 'hood
> > talking like yo' mama.

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

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