Slang a la the NYT

Geoffrey Nunberg nunberg at ISCHOOL.BERKELEY.EDU
Mon Oct 6 05:23:20 UTC 2014

> ...a misbegotten belief that English is a static and uniform language, a mighty mountain of lexical stability. Upon this monument, slang falls like acid rain, eroding and degrading the linguistic landscape. It’s the wrong metaphor. English is fluid and enduring: not a mountain, but an ocean. A word may drift down through time from one current of English (say, the language of World War II soldiers) to another (the slang of computer programmers). Slang words are quicksilver flashes of cool in the great stream.

Srsly? You hear a lot people saying these days that English is a “static and uniform language” etc. and that slang is eroding and degrading the language? You hear a lot of clucking and sputtering from feature writers when MW or Oxford releases a new word list full of derps  and dappys? (A wonder they pick up the press releases at all!) The people, w00t!


> From: Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Re: Slang a la the NYT
> Date: October 5, 2014 at 5:58:55 AM PDT
>> someone can simply pull bullshit out his ass and get it
> published in the NYT,
> Brace yourself, man.
> It ain't just the NYT....
> JL

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