Archive for November 28th, 2005

Language Arts: Buzzwords

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Tomorrow, we plan to introduce the following
paragraph in class as part of the language component of the Science and
Technology section we are currently teaching.

”Yo! It’s the buzzphrases, stupid. Is this
a no-brainer, or what? What we need is an in-your-face, wake-up-and-smell-the-java
look at why literally gazillions of us talkmeisters are talkin’ the talk
— big-time. I mean, get real. These words and phrases and attitudes
are eating us for breakfast. We’re toast. And we’re eating their dust.
Or is it their shorts? Bottom line, we need to ask, What’s wrong with
this picture?"

Foreign students in American
universities are well aware of the differences between formal academic
English and the way real people talk in the course of their daily life.
Unfortunately, they are usually more familiar with the former than the
latter, having dedicated most of their time during the past few years
in acquiring the formal Academic English necessary for pursuing a degree
in an American university.

Of course, they hear these expressions on television
and from the painted pouty lips of their native born brethren, but their
dirty little secret is that they are largely ignorant of contemporary
slang and the newer idioms. Since they are accomplished students
of American fashion, culture and mannerisms, they manage to cover
their knowledge gaps with blank blinks from behind slick sunglasses,
and a knowing toss of an expensive coif.

However, they are always eager and interested to talk
about slang. We plan to send them out on the streets to determine working
definitions of the following expressions:

Yo

It’s the [blank], stupid.

buzzphrases

no-brainer

, or what?

in-your-face

Wake-up-and-smell-the-java

literally

gazillions

talkmeister

Talk the talk, walk the walk

big-time

I mean,

Get real

eating us for breakfast

You’re toast

Eat my dust (or is it shorts)

bottom line

What’s wrong with this picture?

Any suggested definitions or usage suggestions, readers?
We will include any suggestions on the class
wiki
……

Quotation from Slam
Dunk and
No-Brainers: Language in Your Life, the Media, Business, Politics, and,
Like, Whatever