[Ads-l] Twerk the night away

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 26 12:36:53 UTC 2015


Somehow this went to Margaret alone, but it was intended for all:

> It may well be that the OED was misinformed by outside experts (or
perhaps "experts") about the alleged West African origin of twerking.

If twerking had been common in America in the distant past, somebody would
have noticed. Perhaps the move came to the U.S. relatively recently, say
within the past twenty-five or thirty years. It certainly could have come
from West Africa. Or the Caribbean. Or from anywhere, for that matter.

Or it could well be home-grown.  Why not?

If the twerking "experts" are wrong, they need to wise up and school the
lexicographers.

At least OED proves that Miley Cyrus was not the first twerker. And that
seems to have been the point of the news story, which is essentially a puff
piece for the dictionary: you'll have noticed the otherwise gratruitous
mention of "twitterati" and "e-cigarette."

JL

On Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 8:32 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
wrote:

> It may well be that the OED was misinformed by outside experts (or perhaps
> "experts") about the alleged West African origin of twerking.
>
> If twerking had been common in America in the distant past, somebody would
> have noticed. Perhaps the move came to the U.S. relatively recently, say
> within the past twenty-five or thirty years. It certainly could have come
> from West Africa. Or the Caribbean. Or from anywhere, for that matter.
>
> Or it could well be home-grown.  Why not?
>
> The OED is made by humans, not computers. If the twerking "experts" are
> wrong, they need to sharpen their act and advice the lexicographers.
>
> At least OED proves that Miley Cyrus was not the first twerker. And that
> seems to have been the point of the news story, which is essentially a puff
> piece for OED: you'll have noticed the otherwise inexplicable mention of
> "twitterati" and "e-cigarette."
>
> JL
>
> On Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 6:17 AM, Margaret Lee <
> 0000006730deb3bf-dmarc-request at listserv.uga.edu> wrote:
>
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Margaret Lee <mlee303 at YAHOO.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: Twerk the night away
>>
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>> I agree that African Americans have been given little credit for their
>> prol=
>> ific contributions to American/world culture. My ongoing research (as
>> previ=
>> ously stated on this list) focuses on the linguistic contributions of
>> Afric=
>> an Americans to=C2=A0the American English lexicon. (See 'Out of the Hood
>> an=
>> d Into the News: Black Verbal Expressions in a Mainstream Newspaper,'
>> Ameri=
>> can Speech, Vol. 74, No. 4, Winter 1999).=C2=A0Some of the
>> many=C2=A0exampl=
>> es of lexical items that originated in (or were popularized in) the
>> African=
>>  American community and have gone mainstream:=C2=A0high-five, haters,
>> shout=
>> -out, back in the day, swagger/swag, let's do this, break it down, bling,=
>> =C2=A0he said-she said, rip off. These reflect the linguistic creativity
>> of=
>>  African Americans=C2=A0 and seem to have filled a gap in the world of
>> popu=
>> lar=C2=A0and mainstream=C2=A0expression. =C2=A0
>> --Margaret Lee=C2=A0=C2=A0
>> =20
>>       From: Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>>  To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU=20
>>  Sent: Friday, June 26, 2015 1:01 AM
>>  Subject: Re: Twerk the night away
>>   =20
>>
>> Black culture in the United States is an original, built from the ground
>> up, by African slaves and their descendants and that culture has gone on
>> to
>> affect aspects of every other culture on the face of the earth. It is, on
>> the face of it, a truly amazing accomplishment. Surely, this is the most
>> astounding instance of "topping from the bottom" in the history of
>> mankind.
>> Yet "African-Americans," whether holding doctorates or crack pipes, have
>> no
>> interest whatsoever in taking credit for having created a wholly-original
>> culture out of bits and pieces of the cultures of so-called
>> "racially-superior" peoples and the few remnants of their own various
>> original cultures. Rather, in their desire to be regarded as supposedly
>> "equal," in some ill-defined sense of the term, to these erstwhile
>> "superiors," they prefer to pass up credit for having produced another
>> Novus Ordo Seclorum fully as marvelous as the first, as opposed to
>> accepting weak acknowledgment as having been the economic engine of the
>> success of the other one and, instead, ape the white model of cultural
>> history. They thereby give to others, who have and have had nothing
>> whatsoever to do with shaping, and being shaped by, the black experience
>> in
>> America, all of the credit for their successes, even as they continue to
>> bear all of the blame for their failures: "Nothing except the
>> embarrassment
>> of slavery began with us, here in the New World. We can trace the origin
>> of
>> the culture of our people back to the Old World, too, just like white folk
>> can! 1619 Virginia? Feh!" Because the "European-Americans," as they feel
>> no
>> compulsion whatsoever to style themselves, choose to trace what they
>> adduce
>> to themselves as "Western" - or even solely "European" - civilization back
>> to the distant ancestors of today's peoples of the Middle East,
>> "African-Americans" feel that they must likewise arrogate to themselves a
>> cultural history that supposedly has its origins elsewhere in time and
>> space other than in the American South as though that claim of
>> non-American
>> origin, - if we could only *prove* it! - in the past were, somehow, to be
>> regarded as having genuine relevance to, and a source of pride for, black
>> Americans today. "African-Americans" apparently lay great store on being
>> able to say, even in the case of a matter as trivial as a way of
>> rhythmically clapping one's buttocks instead of one's hands,
>>
>> "We didn't build that! Africa built that!"
>>
>> to coin a paraphrase.
>>
>> _Jambo, bwana!_
>>
>> --=20
>> -Wilson
>> -----
>> 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
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>>
>>   =20
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>
>
>
> --
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>



-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

------------------------------------------------------------
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