Thursday, 8 January 2009

I is dissing your slang, innit?

Regular reader Ms Pearl has noted her increasing inability to keep up with yoof slang and 'the word on the street, innit?' or whatever they have over the pond there in Good Old Uncle US of Stateside.

My personal campaign to eliminate irritating patois among the slack-trousered adolescents of Albion takes a simple yet effective form - I use it in front of them, in an exagerrated cut-glass public-school accent. This causes them to redden, squirm and on one deeply satisfying occasion explode with embarrasment, and quickly convinces them that if I am using such slang, it must needs be thought hopelessly uncool and unfashionable.

Shortly before Christmas I took my daughter to the local theatre where she was participating in a music festival. There we hooked up with a family we know well, in which there are daughters aged 12 and 14. As we sat there waiting out the gap between dress rehearsal and performance, my daughter called out to a friend who was wandering past, but her voice was lost against the background hubbub and the friend went on, heedless. "I say" I commented to my daughter "She is dissing you bad, innit?" The 14-year old exploded at this point; her face taking on a crimson hue and her eyes popping out as half a sandwich was ejected across the table in a spray of crumbs. "Oh my GOD that is so embarrassing!" she yelled in a voice so loud that all conversation within a 200-yard radius temporarily ceased.

I smiled quietly to myself, satisfied at the thought of a job well done.

I am not, I hasten to add, the only one to see the comic potential in this form of linguistic transvestism:


scarlet-blue said...

I am bovvered? But do I look bovvered though?

Pearl said...

Oh, that was wonderful.
I'm going to go around all day smiling inwardly at "...personal campaign to eliminate irritating patois among the slack-trousered adolescents..."

Mrs Pouncer said...

Be careful. I started doing this to amuse myself, but then it became a habit, and now I can't stop. It is singularly unattractive in a woman of my age. Key references here are: janky, fasheezy, faydah, Cuddie Bay and, of course, This Me, My Bad, scrilla (and, lately, scrilladelphia - Gotta stop at the ATM for some scrilladelphia). Whoyouishowilive is a daily expletive now. For the love of God; someone help me.

Gadjo Dilo said...

I rather like it, it's beginning to sound rather like Finegan's Wake. Nice to see and hear Alexander Armstrong again.

Woah!! WordVer: "carnal"

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Is it because I is not articulate?

Gyppo Byard said...

Scarlet - Yeah. But no. But yeah. But no...

Pearl - Aieeeeeeeee thankyou! Join us. Jooooooiiiiin uuuusssssssss....

Mrs P - You is lookin' well scrillalicious. How's it skankin'?

Gadjo - I hadn't thought of that, but it's growing on me. Perhaps we should start using the word 'Riverrun!', with appropriate rapper gestures, as a greeting. That would spread unnecessary confusion and despondency among the young; which after all is one of the few things we have to look forward to as we get older.

Daphne - in your case, no. In the case of incorrectly trousered street urchins, quite possibly.