Talking street or gibberish?

“Yo! Did y’all check me when that hottie was all up in my kool-aid? Yeah i was lookin to break off a little somethin’-somethin,’ but my crew gave me the 411 on that skank and she’s all about the bling-bling.” A hilarious quote from Set MacFarlane’s animated tv show Family Guy. Family makes fun of what the youth of today have come to call “street talk” by having Chris say this ridiculous line when asked what he learned at school. Street talk originated in New York and is used as slang between different gang members to hide its actual meanings from the law and other people not associated with the language. It’s basically a different dialect of american English like hispanic being a different dialect from spaniard spanish. If this quote from Chris was translated I believe it would go along the lines of something like this “Did you see that attractive woman talking with me? It was my intention that she and i would go on a date, but my good friends told me she is just a flirtatious woman interested in commodities rather than qualities. Street talk has developed from the English language as many forms of it have developed without our control. Perhaps street may evolve and become the sole English language… could you imagine that? Calling a white person a “cracker” and your dad “pops” and it being socially acceptable? We never really know what turn language will take. I believe new forms of language all with different titles and aspects shall continue to arise and we have no control in the matter.

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English? A sexists language?

A sexist language is having the tendency to speak to someone and refer to them according to their gender. This has and continues to be a problem in the English language. Words like fireman and policeman have been changed to firefighter and police officer to appeal to both men and women. It seems like every occupation needs to have a unisex name for men and women. Men have definitely got the upper hand in the war between sexist languages. The scientific word for both genders in the human species is homo, meaning “man” in Latin. The word “he” is also the most common pronoun. One can use “it” to avoid the gender role, but most people find the word it insulting. Words that appeal to women are considered “marked” only for women. Whereas words like “mankind” appeal to both men and women. Sexist language creates a society where women are the lower social class. Perhaps we should adopt the Spanish perspective and have an el or la to portray everything as male or female. The use of crafting universally friendly words is bothersome and in my eyes a waste of time. If we continue with this charade, when will it end? What if we soon have to create new words that appeal to both male, females, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals? Where does it end? How can we know where to draw the line and stick with one word? The funny thing that gets me is that we recognize different expressions of sex such as gay or lesbian and accept them in the English language, but we constantly bicker over whether to use male or female language. At least the English language doesn’t have women being equal to the word it, like it the Turkish language. So whether or not you call English sexist, just think. It could be very much more sexist.

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Grandpa would be an interesting meal… without the comma

Grandpa would be an interesting meal... without the comma

Without the comma, the English language would consist of hilarious sentence mistakes. It is the most common mistake of punctuation in the English language. It is used to break up two different thoughts or topics introduced throughout a sentence. The inclusion or omission of a comma can lead to some hilarious grammar mistakes, such as the one depicted in the picture above. The first sentence is “Let’s eat grandpa” meaning the person literally is telling someone to serve grandpa as a dish and enjoy resorting to cannibalism. The second revision is “Let’s eat, grandpa” meaning the person is implying that he and his grandpa should eat. The addition of the comma finishes one thought and adds a new one without confusion. It can also be used in lists. The example “I had an apple, banana, chicken, cauliflower, tomatoes, lettuce and onions in my salad. This helps not produce a run on sentence. Although the comma is very important in the English language, many writers and authors forget them. Take a gander at the Twilight series books and you will be confused. The author leaves out commas in some needed areas… The oxford comma is another form of punctuation important to use. It is optional in using it before the word and, but can change the entire meaning of the sentence if used or not used. An example of this is “We invited the hippos, Lincoln and Washington” instead of “We invited the hippos, Lincoln, and Washington. The first version has the Presidents Lincoln and Washington as human hippos, while the second version makes more sense. The comma is what keeps the ideas of sentences together. Without if the English language would be impossible to fully understand. We also have to thank the Oxford comma for our lack of confusion in the English language.

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What the hell is a Homonym?

The “Homonym” in my opinion is just a way that the creators of English decided to construct to confuse the people participating in the language. It has two words with the same spelling and pronunciation, but a different meaning… Why the creators of this language decided to throw this aspect into the language pot is beyond me. It’s no wonder why the English language is one of the most difficult languages to learn. Imagine you’re a Japanese immigrant who only knows how to say hello and goodbye. You’re fresh off the plane and your friend walks with you to the cab. Your friend is a fitness trainer. He tells you that you guys are going to take the train home and then he is going to train for the big competition. You scratch and your head because he said the same word twice? What?  He then begins to open his laptop and sees an add pop on the screen of a magazine portraying an attractive woman. You nudge him implying that she is attractive. He responds “she’s not my type, now i have to type this fitness paper out. Again you scratch your head and are confused. This poor immigrant is going to have a hard and frustrating time deciphering the difference between homonyms in the English language.  These two examples are only a small taste of the homonyms out there. Some others include. Sewer and sewer in the sentence “the sewer fell down a sewer hole”. Another very confusing example could be ball, ball and ball in the sentence “After you throw me that ball, we will go to the ball and have a ball.”  Homonyms are one of the sole reasons people are afraid to learn the English language. How are we supposed to have the ability to decipher this strange concept without having any prior knowledge about the word context? We can’t.

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American Eagle confusing your with you’re

American Eagle confusing your with you're

I saw this in an American Eagle clothing store a couple years back and had a good laugh with my friend about it. It was on a billboard promoting the t-shirt right when you entered the store. We spotted the grammatical error and laughed. An employee walked up to us and asked why we were laughing. We pointed at the grammatical error and she didn’t understand what was wrong. My friend pulled out a black marker and circled the your. She still gazed at us with a blank expression. Finally i said the “your is missing an apostrophe re to make it you are. She had a nice giggle and walked off to tell the manager. He yelled at us for circling the grammatical error and kicked us out of the store. I remember him saying ” now everyone is going to see this flaw.” My friend turned back and said the “damage was already done the minute we walked in the store.” A month later we both caught our eye on a girl wearing the shirt and we began to laugh. She asked why we were laughing and we pointed out the flaw she laughed and walked away. The very fact that American Eagle printed the t-shirt and sold it after the error was pointed out is somewhat hilarious. I mean is this what society has come to? Not having a care in the world for grammar, the very foundation our language is built on? It appears so… pretty soon the fast food franchise will adopt this aspect. Burger King will have the slogan “have it you’re way” and Wendys will have the slogan ” you know when its real.” Perhaps everyone selling merchandise will continue what American Eagle has started. We may be in a rude awakening of grammatical errors everywhere you can buy a product.

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The Cuban accent perfected by Al Pacino

    “In this country, you gotta make the money first, then when you get the money you get the power,then when you get the power then you get the woman” a quote from Antonio Montana, played by Al Pacino. This somewhat true quote has no relevance to this post in the words, but with the way it is being said. Al Pacino uses a Cuban accent when speaking as Tony. He definitely got the accent right. If you have ever watched Scarface, Tony talks slowly and adds ys to many of his words such mayn for man or frieynd fro friend.. He also says dis instead of this. The stereotypical ju instead of you also arises many times in the film. This can be shown in “Who do ju think ju are talking to mayn?” I have traveled to Cuba many times and Al Pacino definitely nailed the accent. Cubans popular to belief actually do indeed speak like this. It’s not only Cubans, but many South American men as well. My grandpa Juni was born in Santiago, Chile and he still to this very says “how are ju guys doing,” when he is speaking English. Al Pacino also adds a “the” to many of the nouns Tony says. I can be seen in the quote above “then when you get the power.” He adds a the to power to emphasize it. Cuban’s are famous for doing this as well. I remember once when i was about the age of ten, i traveled to Cuba and got a life lesson from one of the locals. He said “you will get the car, then when you get the car, you will get the woman, then when you get the woman, you will get the child, then you will get the responsibility.” I find it hilarious that Scarface actually got the correct accent and that what Tony says is basically around the same gist of what the local said to me.    

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British Slang, You either love it or you’re a tosser

British Slang, You either love it or you're a tosser

Ah British slang. A type of language that has confused and continues to confuse people all over the world. Let’s see if you, the reader, can decipher this British slang sentence. Friend one: Blimey that clock over there is turning anti-clockwise, that’s a bit dodgy in it? Friend two: Don’t worry chap i got it sorted and it’s bespoke. Friend one: Well Bob’s your Uncle! The first time I heard anything remotely close to this conversation i thought “what the hell are they talking about?” After watching quite a bit of British television i finally have some idea. Alright, now to decipher this. Blimey means oh my god and anti-clockwise is the British way of saying counter- clockwise. Dodgy basically means suspicious and in it is a shortened version of is it not. Sorted means arranged and bespoke means custom made. Bob’s your uncle means there you go. So the translated version of this is… Friend one: Oh my god, that clock is turning counter clockwise, that’s kind of suspicious is it not? Friend two: Don’t worry man, i got it arranged that way and its custom made. Friend one: Oh, well there you go. I actually have a friend who was born in England and when he came to Canada he used words like dodgy, rubbish and tosser, just to name a few. I remember one lunch at school during grade 9. He said “Don’t be a tosser, that nosh is cold!” I basically stopped all movement and looked at him puzzled. He explained that tosser is the equivalent of idiot and nosh means food. My friend lost most of his British slang, but every now and then little aspects of it will arise in conversation. He still calls french fries chips and has told me that i am sometimes the dogs dinner, meaning dressed nice or fashionably.

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