[Ads-l] Twerk the night away

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 26 01:25:59 UTC 2015


Not only that but, as usual, the journalists can't tell the difference
between a *referent* (in this case the dance) and a word (which, in this
case, leads them back to an uncommon 200-year-old dialect word for
"twitch").

And voila! The "dance" somehow "comes from" Olde England.

Similarly, "hip-hop" (adv.) is an old word, but "hip-hop" (adj./n.) music
is recent.

When HDAS I appeared, the anchor gang at Good Morning America opened it to
look up "geek."  "Ah!" said one. "Used by Shakespeare!"  Cut to commercial
announcement.

What the entry actually said was that "geek" was first documented in the
1870s - not, obviously, in a computer sense - and that, as far as one could
tell, it was a local English survival of a variant of the obsolete
Shakespearean "geck."

So your beef is with linguistically uninstructed reporters, not
lexicographers.

JL

On Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 8:43 PM, Gordon, Matthew J. <GordonMJ at missouri.edu>
wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Gordon, Matthew J." <GordonMJ at MISSOURI.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Twerk the night away
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> A Yahoo news article (from AP) is not scholarship. The OED entry for
> "twerk=
> " (in the dance sense) reads:
> "In early use, associated with =91bounce=92, a style of dance-orientated
> hi=
> p-hop originating in New Orleans, although the dance itself is generally
> co=
> nsidered to be of West African origin." Also D.J. Jubilee is credited with
> =
> the first citation of the verb in this sense.
>
> ________________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Z
> Rice=
>  [zrice3714 at GMAIL.COM]
> Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2015 6:40 PM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Subject: Re: Twerk the night away
>
> Yet again, the population with whom the dance has its origins is completely
> removed from the narrative and the definition. Time and time again, when I
> look up a word that has cultural significance to African-Americans, they
> are no where to be found in the "official" definitions, nor the
> "mainstream" narrative. Years later, they are completely erased from any
> discussion of their own cultural artifacts, and "scholars" spend their time
> debating the origins of the artifact and feigning ignorance as to its
> origins. This is getting old.
>
> The Yahoo "article" itself makes absolutely no mention of the words "black"
> or "african-american". It *does* attribute the *dance* to Miley Cyrus. It
> attributes "the *word* as a description of *a dance*" to New Orleans. This
> is "scholarship"??
>
>
>
> On Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 2:04 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> > -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> > Subject:      Twerk the night away
> >
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> ------
> >
> >
> >
> https://www.yahoo.com/music/s/dictionary-editors-twerking-goes-back-almos=
> t-200-years-230322174.html
> >
> > JL
> >
> > --
> > "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
> truth=
> ."
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org=
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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