Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Old memories of high school

Before we began the official class session today, we had a small conversation and it brought up the interesting topic of hearing phrases said by people. The example in class had to do with "being thrown under a bus." I remember being in high school and I was always the last person to catch on to any phrase or term that other people used. One term that has always bothered me is the word, hook-up. I once had a speaker at my school talk about this and how the word or phrase for making love have changed over time. Common phrases heard throughout time were "Romancing," "Making love," "Making whoopie" and now hooking-up. Hook-up for me just sounds so mechanical, it reminds me of plane engines connecting to refuel. It's not the best example, but in no way when I first came across this term that it meant making love. It's used in so many contexts to, from kissing to sexual intercourse. Actually, after some research, there is a collection of essays by Tom Wolfe called "Hooking Up." Here is a hyperlink to the first few paragraphs: http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/w/wolfe-hooking.html

It is something you never really think about, you come to know it and you hear it over and over. Now I just constantly think about other phrases that have become so commonplace in our generation's society today.

Anybody else have the same thoughts?

2 Comments:

Blogger Brandon said...

I couldn't access that link. I know that Tom Wolfe wrote the novel "I am Charlotte Simmons"--which is supposedly an accurate depiction of sexuality in universities nowadays, but I have not read it. But I don't think "hooking up" is a big deal. In linguistics almost all words come from metaphors which transition into cliches which then become part of the common syntax--at least I have been taught that. With that said, "hooking up," in its context, does not seem mechanical but rather simply slang for meaning something different. So many phrases literal meaning make no sense.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Khalil said...

Phrase origins are too funny. I have to admit that I looked up shizzle a couple of years ago on urbandictionary.com http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=shizzle

A more straight up look at word origins is wordorigins.org
http://www.wordorigins.org/

Like I said, word and phrase origins are too funny. It seems there are some people who have all the answers. If this link works, check out this thread on the origin of "Pardon My French":
http://answers.google.com/answers/main?cmd=threadview&id=232360 the answers

2:05 PM  

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