slang

An email from a reader about Pants-down Brown

brown

Nicely put and one of the better ones sent today…I might start putting up the abusive ones too.

In reaction to the Len Brown affair, I see that the age-old gender double standard has been true to form.

Reading the blog comments and reaction in the media, the typical feeling is that who Len Brown sleeps with is his own business. He’s a man and if he roots around, well he’s just sowing his oats and who are we to judge and the red-blooded bloke probably deserves a high five and a cold beer.  Read more »

Swearing like the Romans did

An author of a new book examines how swearing has developed.

I get told of for swearing all the time…but I actually enjoy profanity, not for the shock value, but for the etymology.

You do it. I sure as hell do it. News anchors accidentally do it — sometimes on their first day of work. The Russians did it so much they recently banned it.

Cursing is perhaps the only vice that’s as frowned-upon as it is widespread. Sure it’s crude and ugly, but swearing helps us express our emotions. What can be better than the catharsis of a four-letter word, rapidly muttered, when you spill your latte at that little milk counter at Starbucks? Or more satisfying than an anguished f-bomb at the realization that the dinner-party duck totally did just burn?  Read more »

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Why I like slang

I love language, I love words and I love etymology…not in the pedantic  academic way but in way words, and speech and language evolves. Slang and profanity are perhaps the most fun and finally I have found a decent explanation for why:

I see slang as the counter-language. At its heart it’s down, it’s dirty, it’s grubby, it’s tart, it’s essentially subversive. It questions and deals with themes like sex, drugs, violence, rudeness, abuse, racism and so on and so forth. Slang is primarily concrete, but the one abstract that underpins it is that of doubt. It seems to me that slang is always doubting. It’s always questioning, it’s always cynical, it’s always undermining and it’s always been negative. It’s very thematic, which means it’s basically a lexicon of synonyms. There are 1,500 synonyms for having sex, 1,000 penises, 1,000 vaginas and 2,000 drunkards and drink-related words… and so on.

I see slang as Freud would see the Id. In other words, the unrestrained side of ourselves. Slang is the pleasure principle. It evokes it in language, lets us get it out there. It has no morals, it has no party, it has no religion, it’s just in it for the kicks. What I love most about it is that it is ourselves at our most human – not at our best, but at our most real. There’s a nice line in Trollope’s The Eustace Diamonds about someone moving from conventional speech to rough, truthful language. That’s what I think slang is – rough, truthful language.

Why were they even on a benefit?

Linsday Mitchell

Lindsay Mitchell calls this benefit camouflage…I call it stealing from the taxpayer…they had no need for the benefit, even though they were conducting an illegal business.

Here’s a perfect example of people using a benefit as camouflage (albeit not a very successful one). I mean they surely didn’t need the money.

Three solo mothers, one of whom is known locally as “the queen of green” and is seven months pregnant, have been sent to prison for a cannabis operation that netted them up to $340,000 in four months last year for selling “tinnies” from a state house in Napier.

A “tinny” is a small tinfoil-wrapped package containing between 0.6 and 1.2 grams of cannabis, which sells for about $20.
Business was so good during the four months that they sold a $20 tinny every minute and the number of customers so great that their cars would clog up the street…… The four offenders, who are all beneficiaries, appeared for sentencing before Judge Tony Adeane in Napier District Court last week.

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How is your Gaydar?

Stuff.co.nz

Apparently our gaydar is more accurate for lesbians than gays.

College students in the US find it easier to tell whether a woman is gay or straight from a glance at her face, than they do determining the sexuality of a man from a quick look, researchers have found.

But for both genders, the report said the students’ “gaydar” was right more times than it was wrong based on a viewing of just 50 milliseconds – about a third the time of an eyeblink – for each face.

In the study, 129 college students viewed 96 photos of young adult men and women who identified themselves as gay or straight. Photos were only used of people without facial hair, glasses, makeup or piercings to reduce the risk they might provide easy clues. The pictures were cropped so hairstyles could not be seen.

For women’s faces, participants were 65 per cent accurate in telling the difference between gay and straight faces when the photos flashed on a computer screen. Even when the faces were flipped upside down, participants were 61 per cent accurate in telling the two apart.

They were 57 per cent accurate in picking the gay men, dropping to 53 per cent when the men’s faces appeared upside down.

The difference in accuracy for men’s and women’s faces was driven by more false alarm errors with men’s faces – that is, a higher rate of mistaking straight men’s faces as gay.

Do you want a free whisker biscuit?

I’ve been thinking of starting bow-hunting but just needed the right motivation.

Cabelas are offering a free whisker biscuit if you buy a bow, maybe that will help!

Wednesday Weapons – Gaggle

Surely I jest, but no. From Wikipedia:

gaggle is a term of venery for a flock of geese that isn’t in flight; in flight, the group can be called a skein.

In military slang, a gaggle is an unorganized group doing nothing.

Highly appropriate description of the Labour caucus under the leadership (if you can call it that) of Phil Goff.