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Stephen Fry just spanked me.


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I worship Stephen Fry. The Liar and ​The Hippopotamus are two of my favorite novels. Moab is my Washpot is one of the best memoirs ever written. I loved reading the Donald Trefusis essays he wrote for the BBC. I watch every YouTube video of his work repeatedly. I have struggled to write poetry with the encouragement of The Ode Less Traveled. However, I have been properly and thoroughly chastised, my arse has been kicked, and I am humiliated. He created this video specifically to rub "it" in my face. I am one of those people who send righteously indignant emails to NPR declaring that they are the last bastion of the English Language in America and their on-air "personalities" should know that "comptroller" is pronounced "controller" and the "h" is silent in "homage" and "herb' (unless it is a man's name). I scream when the weather man on Channel 6 says there is "rain in the Tulsa AREA." As opposed to rain in the Tulsa... what? Intonation changes the meaning of a sentence!!!! I have repeatedly written to The Huffington Post to inform them their use of "Epic Fail" as a subject is an epic failure of their editors. And, the next time some troglodyte says I'm disrespecting him, I'm going to show him disrespect! But, apparently, Stephen Fry thinks I'm a pedant.

I shall crawl back under my moldy stack of Encyclopedia Britannica (NOT Britannicas) and refuse to peak out ever again.

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To write lyrically may well invite damnation, but the effort to be original in terminology will often render meaning obscured whilst the moon rises with but a pale reflection of the sun's brilliance. And when all the stars have dimmed, our words will be trapped in an empty universe void even of our memories. Therefore write ye now, with passion and love and empathy that your living is fulfilled, until meaning is ended.

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Wonderfully put, Des.

But to F.T.: don't forget that English (especially Americanized English) is an ever-flowing river that overflows, ebbs and flows with the tides, and sometimes gets changes direction with time. Things change, crap happens. I don't mind it when they say "weather in the LA area," because I get it. Epic Fail is just another silly fad, no worse than "cool" or "daddio" or "hot to trot" in those eras.

Having said that: there are some language peccadilloes of mine, including an intense dislike of people who use impact as a verb. "The economy was impacted by General Motors' low sales last month..." I hate that. And bad punctuation drives me bonkers.

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I agree. I understand that language evolves. I was being more humorous than upset, though inflection really does irritate me because its just a stupid broadcasting fad that some consultant advised would help the bubble-headed bleached blond who can tell us about the plane crash with a gleam in her eye establish rapport with her viewers, which is stupid. Inflection changes the meaning of a sentence. I can accept "disrespect" and "epic fail" and other ridiculous attempts by forty-somethings in the media to appeal to the twenty-somethings advertisers seek. I just found Fry's video essay entertaining and I remember when my grandparents made fun of my contemporaries for our strange fads in the sixties and seventies.

I actually don't have a really big stick up my butt, just moderately big. :devlish: And Fry makes several good points. Really. Way cool. Epic.

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Yo, yo, yo! Much respect! F.T. in the HOUSE!

There are aspects of modern language that just made me wanna wommit, so I see your point there. Hell, I wrote a story that prominently featured the 1960s word "groovy," which nobody I knew ever actually said. The only people I heard say "groovy" were old celebrities on TV desperately trying to seem cool. But I think it's an amusing word; in fact, an old pal of mine from the 1980s used to say it all the time (in lieu of "cool"), so I cut it some slack.

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Yo, yo, yo! Much respect! F.T. in the HOUSE!

There are aspects of modern language that just made me wanna wommit, so I see your point there. Hell, I wrote a story that prominently featured the 1960s word "groovy," which nobody I knew ever actually said. The only people I heard say "groovy" were old celebrities on TV desperately trying to seem cool. But I think it's an amusing word; in fact, an old pal of mine from the 1980s used to say it all the time (in lieu of "cool"), so I cut it some slack.

It's a terrible thing to confess, but I remember that some 40 years ago, one young man in a park asking me if I gave head. When I replied, "Yeah, I do," he exclaimed, "Groovy!" I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

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I actually use groovy. It started out as just being silly, then it became a habit. Now, my family, friends, and coworkers just accept it as Chris being just a little different from the rest of us.

And, now everyone at Awesome Dude knows that Des' mouth is groovy when he goes down down under.

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I was just thinking how the word "Cool" has morphed through a couple of fazes, like "Kwel"... which amazingly the Urban Dictionary explains is "The fag way to spell 'cool'. I have never used the word "kwel", have you? Still, I guess I am a product of my environment. I mimic my dads quite a bit, and even learn a thing or two from you guys.

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Thanks Dude...

Kewl is the Swedish word for describing something/someone funny.

Probably copied by random people who thinks it's pronounced 'cool' and then used it as if it meant 'cool'.

Later, people got annoyed of it and made themselves look like shitheads by defining it on Urbandictionary.com. The same people later gave this definition a thumb down because they felt offended by it.

And even later, this definition got deleted and no one could read it any longer. But by then, no one cared.

*See Shitstorm http://forums.awesomedude.com/index.php?showtopic=7595&pid=50984&st=0entry50984

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It's a terrible thing to confess, but I remember that some 40 years ago, one young man in a park asking me if I gave head. When I replied, "Yeah, I do," he exclaimed, "Groovy!" I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

Groovy can work in context! :icon_thumleft: And there are words 1000 times sillier than that. I think I threw it into a romantic context, so it worked for me -- though only one character used the word (quite a bit).

As much as I detest modern slang, occasionally I'll put out a "yo, yo, yo... wassup, boyEEEEEE!" to my friends and co-workers just to be wacky. Guaranteed, slang like that will be a lot stupider than "groovy" 40 years from now.

I agree with Lugnutz: I can remember people saying "bitchin'" even in 1972 or so, probably handed down from surfer dudes.

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You don't have to go to slang to find words and phrases being misconstrued from their older usage.

Take for instance the famous Shakespeare line, "Wherefore art thou Romeo?"

'Thou' has fallen into disuse except within biblical quotes; 'art' is only used academically or in satire, but it is 'wherefore' that is most commonly misunderstood to mean, "Where are you (Romeo)?"

However Juliet is not asking the whereabouts of her lover, she is in fact posturing a more philosophical question of, "For what reason are you called Romeo, a member of the family that is in a feud with my family?"

The usual school productions do nothing to help here, as they mostly get the actress playing Juliet to emphasise the "Where-" rather than the fore; even go so far as to get the actress to look around the set to find Romeo who, has been told to hide from her as if the whole play was a pantomime rather than a serious play on the tragedy of forbidden love.

This questioning of origins in the feud is conveyed most convincingly in West Side Story, between the Jets and the Sharks, but also including the ethnicities of the characters. Remember the topical language of the day was incorporated into the songs and dialogue. ("Keep koolie cool, Boy.")

I think it is worth looking at this short (20 minute) movie video which also manages to stay true to the story, whilst steering away from the tragic ending. Please note the way the language forms part of the ironic but very serious message of Middle East conflict.

For best effect, please go to full screen when watching the movie

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Now, I've been spanked twice.

This is what happens when my fingers work faster than my brain. By the way-- why didn't anyone else notice that? ("peak" instead of "peek?") I thought y'all were a bunch of writers!

AND, oh dear, I think I was pretentious. In the term "Encyclopedia Britannica," the Britannica is the adjective and Encyclopedia the noun, so the plural would be Encyclopedia. So, would it properly be "Encyclopediae" ? That doesn't sound right, but I live in Okieland, so...

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