So I found something that made me speechless. And no, I’m not telling you what it is. But out of curiosity and the need to express how I feel I’ve put together a list of words and phrases that (more or less) could be used to express surprise and/or puzzlement. If you have anything to add, feel free to do so. 🙂
I learned a couple things from the response to my article on slang phrases from the 1920s. Number first: The Roaring Twenties really did have the coolest vernacular ever. However, I also found out that the internet loves the 1920s as much as I do — except for the overt racism, ban on alcohol and regressive gender politics, of course.
In terms of vocab, the 20s got all of us beat. For all you 20s junkies, here are 59 more great slang phrases from the decade that keeps on giving. Let’s bring this shit back.
1. Absent Treatment: dancing with a shy person, inexperienced dancer or awkward partner.
2. Air Tight: extremely desirable or attractive. (Note: A “sheik” is an attractive male.)
3. Ameche: a phone. (Also use for telephone: “blower.”)
4. Baby Vamp: a very popular young…
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Words reduce reality to something the human mind can grasp, which isn’t very much.
This may sound like I’m a stuck-up know-it-all kind of person. Well, sometimes, I am. Oh well.
You know how the morally burdened people like to encourage hopeless friends? Let’s say that I’m entering a competition where I know I’m going to lose to the other amazing participants. Or I’m facing an exam that I know I’m going to fail (just assume that I haven’t studied at all as usual and the teacher’s already given a heads-up that if you don’t study you’re gonna flunk unless you have photographic memory or telepathic abilities or something).
“You can make it, you know. Nothing’s impossible.”
See? That common line. That cliche. Designed to make you feel better about the odds. But I don’t really find it helpful. It calms me down, yes, but it doesn’t in any way make me more confident. “Nothing’s impossible” means I can lose or win, pass or flunk. It’s just a matter of which one’s more probable. But why does the sentence itself sound so optimistic? You rarely hear someone say it when a good citizen turns out to be a serial killer, for example. It’s because of how society is used to context it into a particular situation and/or meaning.
It’s the same reason that my mom scolds me if I say “rest in peace”. Well, I say it in Bahasa. “Mom, you should find some rest and get peace,” or something along those lines. Then she starts up and gets angry at me. I’m not wishing for her death–far be it, who’ll take care of my food and stuff?
Sometimes I agree so much with George Carlin’s words “it’s the context that counts!”. I mean, if I really do want someone to have a peaceful rest, then how should I say it? “Rest in peace” is the shortest and most direct way to do so. Yeah, I also feel like I’m wishing death for someone, but I don’t really mean it. Does that mean I’m the one at fault? Just because I don’t fall into (all of) society’s like-mindedness in interpreting words, does that mean I should give up this little dose of individuality (if you can call it that) just so I can fit in? Even if you do think that way, I don’t. And, I won’t.
I wonder why I’m stressed out about this, though. I’ve always cared about diction and stuff, but I realize that I myself am still nowhere near proper. But I do wish that people don’t get so touchy about how I talk. I usually mean well. Yes, it’s my fault for being insensitive, but it’s not my fault if they don’t take the effort to try and understand the connotations I mean when talking in a vulgar way.