Like, totally, right?

8 09 2008

Slang. We all use it, to varying degrees and with varying levels of success. But where does it come from? Sometimes one can track the progress of the slang from friends we have heard using it, but other times, one cannot remember, or doesn’t know exactly how it happened that we start using a specific slang word.

Take, for instance, the word I’ve caught myself using quite excessively recently: the word “totally”. I can’t remember where I picked it up from, but whenever somebody says something that I agree with, lately I’ve been responding with “totally”. It’s like a drug, I can’t seem to stop myself from saying it. I mean, it’s totally annoying. (BTW, I haven’t been using it excessively in the way described above, like in between other words in a complete, legitimate sentence), but just on it’s own, as described even further above).

However, now that I think about it, I haven’t actually been doing that, IE using it by itself more than legitimately in a sentence, I have just been moving it from the middle of a sentence to the end. Observe the following examples, where the first sentence is how I would normally talk, and the second being how I’ve been talking recently.

  • Wow that was a totally amazing movie!
  • Wow that movie was amazing. Totally. OR
  • Wow that movie was amazing. -Pause until somebody agrees with me-. Totally.

Am I totally twisted? Maybe. But if I am, I’m not the only one. I’ve spoken to some friends about it, and a lot of them have been saying it as well. And I’ve also noticed that some of my other friends, who I haven’t spoken to about it, have been using it quite a lot as well. So I have no idea where we all heard it from, since my friends are a diverse group of people and as far as I know they don’t have a single common friend from who they could all have “caught” this new word from.

An unlikely explanation is that new slang is genetically coded into us. Like, if somebody uses a new word, even once or accidentally in a new way, our genes will automatically pick it up that it is a “cool” (another interesting word, don’t get me started) and will start using it. Hahaha as I said, unlikely, but fun to speculate on.

So what do you think? Are you using the word “totally” more than usual? Will you after reading this post? Totally. Ha ha. Otherwise, what slang word are you using right now? I would be interested to know. Totally. Hahahaha.

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11 responses

8 09 2008
calia77

Literally. Like. Just 2 of the ones that drive me mad when I, let alone when anyone else does.

Strangely – or perhaps thankfully – I can’t remember any others at the moment.

9 09 2008
Caroline

Pssssssshhhhhhhhh…
I totally hate the word totally. (Insert your offended looking face here). Like, totally!!

11 09 2008
Brian

I cant think of a slang i use? Not sure but i think you personally picked up the use of totally from HIMYM. They use is in there a lot and you can quote most of it. Marshall normally says it i think. Ted does too. Go check it out. I think i may be right.

18 09 2008
Kelly

Mine is DUDE and OH SNAP…. the latter I picked up from you Mike.. and the first i guess i was born with it.

TOTALLY RIGHT!!!

21 09 2008
Brian

New post? Need new post. Lol.

25 09 2008
Caroline

Wow, this has gotta be the longest us avid readers have had to wait between posts. (From the time when I’ve subscribed)

30 09 2008
SupermanShaun

Why is it that when one tries to think of all the slang words one uses, those words (like creatures of the dark scurrying out of the way of a torchlight) seem to retract, making it hard to do so…? I really enjoy your idea of humans having a ‘slang gene’. Makes perfect evolutionary sense, after all. We use slang to be accepted, more well-liked, to progress in society – to ultimately enhance our chances of reproducing. Who’s to say that the ‘slang gene’ hasn’t come about as some sort of evolutionary pressure, that natural selection hasn’t selected such a gene to favour us? 🙂 Interesting thoughts.

PS – Sorry I’m only checking out your blog now! Just visited mine again for the first time since was last post almost a month ago.

30 09 2008
SupermanShaun

Sometimes, when I say ‘was’, I really mean ‘my’

10 09 2009
sandrar

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

10 09 2009
Mike

Thanks for stopping by! I love random new readers. Hope to see you around more often.

24 08 2010
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