Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Downloading A New Vocab

funny gifs

One of the most delicious facets of the English language, IMO, is how it is continually changing and evolving.

Some people hate it, especially slang and trends like the subversion of nouns into verbs: breakfast, parent, contact, medal.  I think it's sexy to think of corrupting words, teaching them to do something new, naughty, and slightly forbidden.

My pet peeve is the way they (you know, the ubiquitous They) are turning everything into an Event.  Stores don't have Sales anymore, they have Sales Events; there are Birthday Party Events, and Weather Events.  Really?  Can't we just have sales and parties and weather?  <sighing>

OMG, I sound like a Word Nazi.  Time for an attitude adjustment.  (Not the wrestling one though.)

Ever since English became its own (bastard) language, we've been borrowing bits from here and there, sawing off pieces we don't like, tacking on others, changing the meanings, and adding new words and phrases.  Shakespeare did it all the time, because that's how he rolled.

Basically, English is a slut.  (I mean that in the nicest way - you should know how much I love sluts, being a proud slut myself.)

Anybody remember Valleygirlspeak?  Language and dress (not to mention our current toys) can speak volumes about the period in which any piece of writing is set.  Like, fer shure.

As I've mentioned before, one of the things I love about paranormal romance author Lisa Hendrix is that she gets it right re: vocabulary for her historical novels.

So, since I'm writing contemporary fiction, one of my fav places to do research on the freshest phrases is Urban Dictionary.  People submit phrases they've overheard, or perhaps do some word mixing, and people can then vote them up or down.  Regardless of voting popularity, some may (or may not) catch on and become part of our current English lexicon.  No matter how craptastic they are, dude.

Here's a few that gave me a ladyboner a tingle of delight, and an urge to find a story to place them in:
  • Chicks before Dicks; Bros before Hoes - a colorful way of expressing that friendships should come before sex/hookups.
  • Mind over Bladder - the power to be able to suppress urination needs regardless of urgency and/or pain.  I am in awe of those who possess this power - but I ain't one of them.  (TMI?  Sorry!)
  • Sexercism - A non-religious, therapeutic exercise.  Having sex with someone new to get over your last partner and cut those emotional ties.  
  • Fart and Dart - pretty self explanatory, pass gas & flee the scene, leaving others to ?enjoy the fumes.
  • Spending Amnesia - trying to remember where you could possibly have spent your money when it is mysteriously all gone. 
  • Epic Fail - complete and total failure when success should have been easy
  • Regret Ceiling - the point at which one stops feeling guilty or remorseful regarding a thought, comment, or action. I've certainly reached this, especially when I've apologized roughly a billion times and the person is still snippy about it, weeks later.
  • Package Stalking - when one constantly presses the refresh button on an online tracking website to get up to the minute info on the package delivery 
  • Get an Inbox - derived from the expression "get a room."  When couples (or friends) constantly leave romantic, mushy, suggestive, or affectionate messages on each other's FaceBook wall or public Tweetstream for everyone else to see, someone may tell them to "get an inbox."
  • Free Balding - when a bald or balding man who normally wears a cap or hat, goes out in public without it.  I found it amusing to note that in the voting, this was one of the few that had more thumbs down than thumbs up.  Sensitive, guys?
  • Gate Massage - a TSA patdown.
  • Bag Texting - a trick to make people with whom you are having dinner, movies, etc., believe you are not rudely texting  while sitting with them, by appearing to be searching for something in your purse.
  • Money Hugger - opposite of tree hugger.  Unscrupulous, money hungry, money collecting individual or company willing to do anything and destroy anything on this planet to get their fix - more money.
  • Maintenance Texts - sending text messages to people you'd like to date "someday" to attempt to maintain a connection without actually making a commitment.
  • Last Chance Undies - the old ugly pair of underwear kept in your drawer which you may wear if all others are dirty.  Women also have period panties - no explanation necessary.
I may be a Word Nerd (if not The Word Nerd, celebrated blogger), but I adore the English language, in all its sloppy beauty!

Brief promotional plug - don't skip, there's something in it for YOU - I have another awesome author coming on the blog.  Mark your calendars to be back here next Wednesday, Oct 12, and get on his newsletter list (you have to tell him tell him I sent ya to be eligible) as he is giving away two, count 'em, TWO Kindles on this blog tour.

He is also a shooting star of a writer.  I first knew Jeremy as a writer of screenplays (unpublished), then an author/co-author of a couple non-fiction books.  I've since watched with awe and amazement as he's gone from self-pubbing to traditional, currently with a foot in both worlds, in a very short frame of time.

JEREMY ROBINSON is the author of numerous novels including PULSE, INSTINCT, and THRESHOLD the first three books in his exciting Jack Sigler series, which is also the focus of and expanding series of co-authored novellas deemed the Chesspocalypse. Robinson is also known as the #1 horror writer, Jeremy Bishop, author of THE SENTINEL and the controversial novel, TORMENT. His novels have been translated into ten languages. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and three children.

So, if you are also looking to be a successful writer, following his blog tour and getting the newsletter is a great way to learn from somebody who's done it.


Back on point - What do you think of the ever-evolving English language?
What's your pet peeve?
Which new phrase or word gives you warm tingles?