Good, Bad & Ugly Evolutions of Language (Collection)

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Kaiduorkhon, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Kaiduorkhon Registered Senior Member

    Philology - Historically comparative cultural linguistics.

    This OP wishes to engage a theme focused on fairly recent - and time-worn - historical figures of speech, especially featuring the south-bound, negative translations, colloquialisms and interpretations of language; such as featured in George Orwell's 'death-speak', in his prophetic 1984 novel (though spirited and positive innovations are welcome). Consider these exemplary, recently adopted terms as they have been popularized and are in present day usage:

    When it's 'killer!', it's good.
    When it's 'PC' it's not partly cloudy or personal computer - it's 'politically correct' (even when it isn't).
    When a thing or person is 'tough', that thing or person is impressively good.
    When it's 'far-out!' it's nearby and/or recently (and often unexpectedly) acquired and understood or accommodated.

    An obscurely understood and relatively recent employment of west-bound American settlers is the reference to left-handed people as being 'south-paws' - because when you're traveling westward, south (on the map) is on your left hand side.
    Moreover, when and if you 'see the elephant', you've somehow encountered a frightening realization that you should not be where you are and/or when you turn around and back-track your direction to where you are. Again, west-bound settlers adopted this term (when they encountered hostile touraine or circumstance), though it may have originated much earlier, in a different setting.

    Hate is an acknowledged very strong word. Advisories about it often include, 'One must be careful what one hates, how, and for what reasons, lest you become what you hate'. The flip side of that consideration is the general, light (often frivolous) usage of the hate word, namely:
    'I hate it when that (FILL IN HERE) happens'.

    Looking forward to further accumulative additions to this list.

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    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014

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