When I say I find Americans and the American rape of my native tongue, let’s say, annoying, I do not mean all Americans. The specific Americans I am talking about are between 18 and 25 years old, rich because of their parents, have been overly institutionalised by establishments called universities that, they believe, have educated them, and thus they have an overwhelming sense of privilege that is only equaled by their arrogance.
Because I live in Thailand I come across a lot of these young Americans. Because these people do not have any real culture they latch onto other cultures. Therefore you will see a lot of them with dreadlocks, yogapants or Buddhist and Hindu paraphernalia. All of them have Tattoos, that have no real significance to their lives, but they believe that having a tattoo shows that they have lived, suffered and experienced life authentically. Perhaps worst of all: most of them believe themselves to be on a spiritual quest. But if I begin a rant on the embarrassing way they steal and destroy other cultures or the superciliousness with which they talk about their identity seeking within these cultures, I will end up writing a short book. I will save that for a later date and instead focus on the way these irritating youths abuse my native tongue.
It’s not just the high pitched, drawn out, whiney intonation that they use. Or the over use of hand gestures, facial gestures (noticeably the eyebrows), exaggerated movement of the head or even the false naivety they employ. It’s not even the over confident conceit with which they approach every subject. It’s the bare faced cheek of mispronouncing and actually changing our words that annoys me.
“I’m totally Psyched”, or: “you must be ‘like’ totally ‘psyched‘” are phrases that bother me tremendously. They are invariably delivered with a widening of the eyes, as if to suggest great excitement or shock. I must admit that ‘stoked’ is a little bit more becoming but I refuse to acknowledge ‘amped’. Another linguistic marvel is the tendency to say every word, sentence or phrase with a rising tone, the intonation one usually uses when asking a question.
‘Awesome’ is the only word in American youth culture to denote something that is very good. Whereas a Brit may say any number of words like excellent, amazing, brilliant, wonderful, tremendous, fantastic, or marvelous, most Americans will simply stick to ‘Awesome’. When anything is really very good, they simply use the word ‘totally’ as in ‘Dude that is totally awesome’.
Brits never use the following words together: ‘thanks for the heads up’, ‘hey guys’,‘double whammy’, ‘dead beat’, ‘often times’, ‘thrift store’ or ‘you bet yah’ but Americans do. Also Brits do not use abbreviations with the same relish as their American cousins: FYI, PDQ, ASAP, Whatcha, gonna, d’ya, wanna, ain’t, gimme, gotta, kinda, lemme. In fact the whole point of the Americanisation of the English language is to shorten words and phrases as much as possible. For some reason American youths believe, and this really sums up the whole American phenomena: ‘that speed and efficiency is better than quality’. Thus they slowly by degrees are destroying the art of ‘English’ conversation. Perhaps the greatest art ‘English’ people and ‘England’ ever had.
But what do I know I am from Merseyside and say things like:
“I’m of down da boozer for a bevvie t get bladdered den am going to da chippie for a chip buttie, just got me dole ya see. R mate I’m made up as well I won 20 nicker on a scratch card, buzzin!”
“ Lend us a biffter mate I’m gasping here.”
“Quick scarper here’s da bizzies”
I am also pissed because I cant get a decent TEFL job in Thailand because Im not young or awesome enough.
Last edited by Stephen Humphries; 25th September 2012 at 13:21.
My M3 student told me she didn't do well on the listening part of her computer test. She said she couldn't understand what the man was saying, it sounded like a goose.
The Oxford Online Placement Test
"While Jim is milking the Russian Boar, I'm in the shade of a Baobab tree being served a cool drink by a beautiful young indigenous girl. "
Aloha - Aloha HARD
I adhere to my academic roots when conversing with others. It's only proper.
first 2 paragraphs, brilliant. the rest, ignorance.
The young have always had a different language. The middle aged rail against it and old farts have more pressing issues.
Where's my cat?
Hmm. A goose, eh?
So the recording is bad, or the gear it was being played on was defective in some way?
^ Or the English dude just sounds like a goose?
I'm impressed that she knows what a goose is, let alone what noise it makes to be fair. Damned if any of the kids at this school would know, must be a regional thing.
It reminds of a poster that drew the exact same simile on this very board a few years ago. Yes, come to think of it, he was an American chap.
^The obvious answer is too unsubtle for our British freres apparently.
Aw applesauce! And how!
I'm hip to the jive of this Mrs Grundy.
Give me shot of that horse linament.
I ain't no milquetoast, no siree. No bohunk bug-eyed Betty for me; I'm going to find me a lollapalooza of a celestial bearcat.
This Reuben gets the screaming meemies from the young folk punching the bag.
Rhatz! He needs to pull a Daniel Boone.
We could all sit outside on banana lounges discussing the best way to rebuild a 4WD transmission and agree, through shared stories of conquests supporting our assertions, that there is no basis to the proposition that those least assured of their persuasions are the first to condemn others for theirs.