[Ads-l] Twerk the night away

Z Rice zrice3714 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 26 12:52:10 UTC 2015


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

My issue is with "all" of the institutions (and those who serve them) who
work tirelessly to make a specific group of people appear as if they are
subhuman, a people without a history or collective culture of their own.
Lexicographers certainly fall into that category, along with the reporters
you mention. It is an *institutionalized* form of dehumanization and
cultural castration that has had a profound effect on how that specific
group of people is treated in the United States.


"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?"


THIS is why I have a problem with this sort of "scholarship". Inevitably,
so-called "scholars" assume that if they witness something of African
origin among African-Americans, and it wasn't witnessed (by them) before,
then it must have a magical negro origin - usually a mystical african or
"west indian" creation myth is then supposed. What would lead you to
believe that a group so vast and so insulated/isolated as the native
African-American population would be so simple, so devoid of complexity, so
obvious - that you would know everything about them (even their more
intimate dance practices)?? You do not. "Scholars" find out about this
group when something ends up on their television screen, on an album, or in
a book.

It is presumptuous and arrogant to assume that you know everything about
them already; that everything about them has been "documented" before.






On Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 3:25 AM, 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:      Re: Twerk the night away
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> 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
> > >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org=
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > 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."
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list