[Ads-l] Heard?: Fabreze ad

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Oct 21 03:08:53 UTC 2015

". . . gotten used to the _fonk_ in his man-cave."

Even if these old ears are failing me and the voice-overer, in fact, says
"funk," it's interesting to me that the word is used in its original
meaning - MW: "a strong, offensive smell" - once the primary, if not the
only, meaning of the word in American English, whether standard or black.

My personal experience - YMMV - is that _funk_ was nearly obsolete in
standard US English in any meaning - AFAIK, the phrase, "in a funk,"
wherein the word has a different meaning, has never gone out of use in
(literary?) UK English - until it came back in the '70's in its adjectival
form, _funky_, used as a slang term of indeterminate meaning, AFA we
colored are concerned. What can "funky" possibly mean, when it's applied to
a $750 pair of Jimmy Cho heels? The late-great Redd Foxx used to rail
against this new-at-the-time use in his stand-up - "'Funky' is dirty
drawers been marinating in the bottom of the dirty-clothes hamper for a
month! Armpits and crouches [crotches] ain't been washed but once a week!"

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

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