"my bad"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 30 21:04:03 UTC 2010

Joel, where would a random pick-up basketball player get the money for
that kind of traveling? Under what circumstances could a pick-up
basketball player be a "ringer"?

Victor, when you state that

"... [P]ick-up basketball games in the 1970s and the early 1980s, at
least, were a melting pot of sociolects. They included players from
diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds ..."

what claim are you making, exactly? It seems to me that you're saying
that it was once the case that, in Boston, say, pick-up ballers from
Beacon Hill would play Townies or that pick-up ballers from The 'Bury
would play those in Southie, in the process socializing to the extent
that they picked up bits and pieces of each other's ways of speaking.

Somehow, that strikes me as being an unlikely scenario.

My own WAG is that national, quasi-audience-participation, trash-TV
"talk" shows, of the kind epitomized by The Maury Show, and music
radio, especially those stations that encourage what are generally
called "shout-outs" are the sources of the spread of
slang/non-standard forms from their originators to the general public.
Sometimes, it's the reverse. The media initiate the spread of a
standard term among a new set of users. Into evidence I place the
following exchange, heard on TV (both speakers black):

A. Man, what you trying to say?! That's ludicrous!

B. Aw, Negro, please! If it wasn't a rapper [i.e. Ludacris] have that
name, you wouldn't even now know
    that word!

In point of fact, it would be strange if A had been completely unaware
of the existence of the word. But its coming into common use in the
media that he paid attention to that motivated him to make it an
active part of his vocabulary.


On Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 2:30 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      Re: "my bad"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> At 4/30/2010 02:18 PM, victor steinbok wrote:
>>But even beyond that, pick-up basketball games in the 1970s and the
>>early 1980s, at least, were a melting pot of sociolects.
> But were there "ringers", travelling pickup basketball players, who
> peripatated from, say, Brooklyn to Nashville, and brought bad with them?
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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