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Translate from Millennial in Boomer Please

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What does it mean when a young person today says, "Word." Just, "Word." They are not referring to the program, but something I don't understand, but want to. I feel so dreadfully out of it.

(By the way, the title of this post should read "Translate from Millennial TO Boomer. Sorry. I suppose, being a writer, I should consider occasionally proofreading my comments before hitting the POST button).

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Urban Dictionary has it pretty well nailed, though I'm not sure about the origin explanation offered. (shortened form of 'my word is my bond')

It's much older than the millennials. Late 80s at least, though it's heyday was the late 90s. Nowadays it's often used as a parody, the same way we might parody the seventies by saying 'groovy' at inappropriate times.

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Lug- LOLOL!

Thank you everyone. I keep forgetting that there's this wonderful new thing called the Internets or the Interwebs or whatever it was that W used to call it and I can actually look these things up, although I am quite impressed with Cole Parker's grasp of the groovy. I may turn to him first in the future when I need the younger generations explained to me! :-) And, thanks Nick and Steven. I am bookmarking the Urban Dictionary on my browser.

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We hear it as "word up" and not as the single word unless it's a question "word?" meaning "do you give me your word that it's true?"

Heard on BART going into San Francisco:

"Donna is preggers, and she's gonna quit school and have the kid."

"Word?"

"Word up!"

"Dumb up," as far as I'm concerned.

Colin :icon_geek:

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We hear it as "word up" and not as the single word unless it's a question "word?" meaning "do you give me your word that it's true?"

Heard on BART going into San Francisco:

"Donna is preggers, and she's gonna quit school and have the kid."

"Word?"

"Word up!"

"Dumb up," as far as I'm concerned.

Colin :icon_geek:

Slang is slang, not degeneracy. Every generation has its own.

I already mentioned 'groovy'. In the 80's, it was 'radical' or 'rad'. in the 60's, 'right on' and in the 50's 'keen'. Shakespeare was throwing about 'zounds'...etc

I can't see how the more accepted similar slang usages like 'cool', 'hot', 'keen', 'swell', 'strewth; etc are intrinsically more degenerate than 'word' as slang which seems to have some solid grounding in the ages-long use of 'word' to mean truth or honesty.

In other words, let the kids speak as they will. If it seems degenerate to you that's a sign of old age. :-)

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Slang is slang, not degeneracy. Every generation has its own.

I already mentioned 'groovy'. In the 80's, it was 'radical' or 'rad'. in the 60's, 'right on' and in the 50's 'keen'. Shakespeare was throwing about 'zounds'...etc

I can't see how the more accepted similar slang usages like 'cool', 'hot', 'keen', 'swell', 'strewth; etc are intrinsically more degenerate than 'word' as slang which seems to have some solid grounding in the ages-long use of 'word' to mean truth or honesty.

In other words, let the kids speak as they will. If it seems degenerate to you that's a sign of old age. :-)

I think perhaps Colin's statement about it being dumb referred to the decision to quit school, not the choice of vocabulary.

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That's the thing though... The origins of creole are shrouded in the fog of history and even the people who study it for a living can't come up with a single explanation for what it is, much less how the various types formed.

One thing that a majority postulate, though, is that Creoles aren't a dialect of English. They use English vocabulary in a structure that is either created spontaneously to simplify communication (e.g. dropping past tense and plural endings) or the creators mapped the English words onto the language spoken by the adapters, e.g. English words with Hawiian or West African structures.

Either way, most 'creole-ologists' aren't buying the dialect idea. Of course, that's probably because linguists have a much more stringent definition of dialect than ordinary usage.

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Creole in Louisiana is. The Caribbean, Brazil, West Africa and various pacific island areas developed their own based mostly off the colonial vocabulary of the day.

Creoles were primarily developed on agricultural estates with slave populations where a few colonial overseers had to communicate with a large non-english speaking workforce. To complicate matters, slaves were often from different language groups and had to communicate with each other using the vocabulary of the colonists, hence colonists weren't that involved in creating the langauge once they handed over the vocabulary.

However, the exact nature of the process was never observed and thus any statements on the origins is deduction and conjecture.

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Slang is slang, not degeneracy. Every generation has its own.

My joke for years was, in the 1970s and 1980s, we said, "what's up?" (Before that, some people and rabbits said, "what's up, doc?")

By the 1990s, some people shortened the phrase to, "'sup?"

Eventually, in the near future, they'll shorten it further to just "P?", making a popping-P sound.

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Steven is correct. Creoles are a specific language category, not a single language. It's common to refer to the creole spoken in Louisiana as a dialect, but that's not technically correct. It's a creole based on a pidgin created by African, English, and French speakers.

When speakers of two different, mutually unintelligible languages come into contact over a prolonged period of time, for a specific purpose (e.g., trade), a simplified but stable language of communication will develop, called a pidgin. ... Creoles are "born" in communities when they become the native language of children of pidgin-speaking parents. With the pidgin input, children develop a full-fledged language, called a creole, that fulfills all of their communicative needs in ways that a pidgin can't. As a result of its communicative sufficiency, the creole may be their only native language. Creoles are grammatically rule-governed, and both the syntax and lexicon develop rapidly during creolization.

From "How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction" by Anne Curzan and Michael Adams, 2nd ed., p391.

Colin :icon_geek:

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Steven is correct. Creoles are a specific language category, not a single language. It's common to refer to the creole spoken in Louisiana as a dialect, but that's not technically correct. It's a creole based on a pidgin created by African, English, and French speakers.

When speakers of two different, mutually unintelligible languages come into contact over a prolonged period of time, for a specific purpose (e.g., trade), a simplified but stable language of communication will develop, called a pidgin. ... Creoles are "born" in communities when they become the native language of children of pidgin-speaking parents. With the pidgin input, children develop a full-fledged language, called a creole, that fulfills all of their communicative needs in ways that a pidgin can't. As a result of its communicative sufficiency, the creole may be their only native language. Creoles are grammatically rule-governed, and both the syntax and lexicon develop rapidly during creolization.

From "How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction" by Anne Curzan and Michael Adams, 2nd ed., p391.

Colin :icon_geek:

Yet another book on my to read list...

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