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May 03 2007

The PopWatch Confessional likes to say "Grr...Argh..." A fun post on the Entertainment Weekly blog details TV and movie phrases that have snuck into daily lingo; our favorite Mutant Enemy saying is third on the list.

Many other Whedonverse lines are mentioned in the comments, including "Bored now," "feeling all rampagey," and "I am a leaf on the wind."

Hahah. I find myself saying "Grrr... argh" quite often. :)
Heck yeah, I say Grr Argh. I say a lot of tv/movie quotes, but I think it's better if i don't try to list them all.
I'm more inclined to say Bored now - there is so much to be bored over *g*
I do "bored now" and "grr...argh."

I also use the Ats s5 line "I do Pilates at half-past why am I awake" -- but substitute whatever it is that I am doing at some ungodly early hour.
palehorse, being *so* not a morning person, I've been known to use "half past why am I awake?" as well. And "my bad" has become such a part of the popular lexicon, how many characters on TV shows have used it? As well as "not so much", in distinctively Jossian context. Aaron Sorkin used to throw Buffisims into The West Wing on a fairly regular basis.
As for myself, a SoCal native long ago transplanted to Hawaii, when I'm re-watching BtS, I find myself using "Bloody Hell" a lot, much to the amusement of uninitiated friends. It's just such a deeply satisfying exclamation of frustration, although of course not a Buffyism.
I once said to my dad, "Can you vague that up for me?" I used to use Buffy slang much more than I do now, but it pops up occaisionally.
"half past why am i awake?" is a good one, i'll have to try that out.

we use "grr...argh" both the regular and the singing version. I also like to whip out "I'm sick of being everybody's butt monkey!" now and then.

other favorites are "...not so much," "bored now," "who with the what now?" and "not exactly quaking in my stylish yet affordable boots."

and of course, when either of us has an expression suggesting that we are about to disagree, we use the classic "you have but-face." hahaha!

[ edited by ladygrey on 2007-05-04 19:03 ]
I hear both "not so much" and "my bad" so often - did Joss originate them?

Just last night I found myself telling my cat "bored now." Luckily for her I'm not evil or powerful.
Grrr..argh? Don't tell me, it sounds so familiar. Oh, it's on the tip of the tongue....Happy Days?

Relax, I'm jossing in the ribs. Still, sigh.
Oh, yeah, can't even begin to list the phrases I steal borrow, or you would all see that my conversation consists of nothing but stuff stolen from Joss and other writers...

I will just note that my partner and I sign "Bored now" at parties to signal "Help me now, I'm being bored to death!"

(Very useful site for seeing asl...)
Whoa! Where did that thought come from? I think you know better from us.
Okay, gods love you, Madhatter, you are the Salt of the Earth and all, but I swear by all the Lords of Kobol I am going to find out what you mean if it takes all night.

I have no idea what you are saying... please repeat it again, but this time as if I am your idiot spawn.

(:> :> :>) to indicate the light tone and merry laugh I wish to imply...
Neither "Not so much" or "my bad" are original to Joss though he probably helped popularise them (Paul Reiser used to say "Not so much" on 'Mad About You' for example).

Buffywise, hmm, 'grr ... aargh' and 'bored now' a fair bit. 'X much ?' (because it's just so damn flexible - 'bullshit much ?', 'cliché much ?' etc.). I guess with me it's not really the exact phrases I, ahem, borrow from Buffy, it's more the style. So I verb a lot more nouns than I did before or deliberately mix and match adages to see what happens or play with the word order in a sentence. Specific quotes are just gonna pass most of my friends by though so kinda pointless.

Other 'borrowed' phrases, well, I say "Coulda, woulda, shoulda" and "Yah, sure, yabetcha" quite a lot, first heard them both on Stargate (pretty sure they're not original to that though, I just liked the almost sing-song delivery). I used to say "Come to the coast, have a few laughs ..." in a very bad Bruce Willis impression when things had gone completely tits up for whatever reason.

For years, and now to a lesser extent, the best of anything (but especially toughness) and, obviously, only in the right company was 'the fuckest uppest' from Tim and Mike's 'Robot Wars' entrant in 'Spaced'. "I think the phrase rhymes with 'clucking bell'", "Mehhh !", "Wibble" and (of course ;) "I have a cunning plan" among probably numerous others from the inimitable 'Blackadder'.
That makes two of us. I thought she said that you said that your friend's uncle....something about goldfish??

Oh, I always read these things so wrong. Sorry, QuoterGal.
If not for Buffy(Any line from OMWF), Angel(To the Angel-mobile! Away!), Family Guy (Let's drink 'til we can't feel feelings anymore!), Team America (I'm so ronery) or Little Britain (Computer says noooo), my vocabulary would be as bad as, like, whatever. ;-)

[ edited by missb on 2007-05-05 10:04 ]
OK saje, I'll except that "not so much' wasn't an original Buffyism, since I've never watched Mad About You & wasn't aware that it pre-dated BtS, but "my bad" not a Buffy original? Documentation, please :)

And Quoter Gal ... you swear by all the Lords of Kobal? Will you marry me? Oops, never mind .... not gay.
Oh Shey,
Ask and ye shall be rewarded.

Google and ye shall be rewarded further still


The best evidence obtainable at present points to Manute Bol (above), the 7'7" Sudanese NBA player whose native tongue was Dinka, as the inventor, sometime in the 1980s, of this now–ubiquitous phrase.

Geoffrey K. Pullum told the story in his December 7, 2005 blog post.

Ken Arneson emailed me to say that he heard the phrase was first used by the Sudanese immigrant basketball player Manute Bol, believed to have been a native speaker of Dinka (a very interesting and thoroughly un-Indo-Europeanlike language of the Nilo-Saharan superfamily).

Says Arneson, "I first heard the phrase here in the Bay Area when Bol joined the Golden State Warriors in 1988, when several Warriors players started using the phrase."

And Ben Zimmer's rummaging in the newspaper files down in the basement of Language Log Plaza produced a couple of early 1989 quotes that confirm this convincingly:

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jan. 10, 1989: When he [Manute Bol] throws a bad pass, he'll say, "My bad" instead of "My fault," and now all the other players say the same thing.

USA Today, Jan. 27, 1989: After making a bad pass, instead of saying "my fault," Manute Bol says, "my bad." Now all the other Warriors say it too.

So all of this is compatible with a date of origin for the phrase in the early 1980s (Manute Bol first joined the NBA in 1985 but came to the USA before that, around 1980).

Professor Ron McClamrock of the Philosophy Department at SUNY Albany tells me he recalls very definitely hearing the phrase on the basketball court when he was in graduate school at MIT in the early 1980s, so the news stories above could be picking the story up rather late; but it is still just possible that Manute Bol was the originator, because he played for Cleveland State and Bridgeport University in the early 1980s, and his neologism just could have spread from there to other schools in the northeast, such as MIT.

But, dammit, it SHOULD be a Jossism.
missb, I am speechless. Even now that I've stopped laughing.
I definitely remember Reiser's use of "not so much" on Mad About You - which is where I picked it up and how it got so deeply imbedded into my vocab...

And there are numerous on-line discussions about the origin of the phrase "my bad" -- here, here and here, for example - some suggest that its origins may go back to the 70s and sports culture.

I for sure at least remember it from Amy Heckerling's Clueless, written in 1994 and released in 1995. Some sources do suggest, however, that it was popularized by Buffy scripts:

"We have undertaken a careful investigation of the etymology of “my bad” and the cultural forces behind its popularity. Our research suggests the following: “my bad” may possibly have roots in games of “spades” played among prison inmates, and in Neighborhoods of Lower Socioeconomic Strata (NoLSS, or colloquially, “Hoods”).

However, multiple authoritative sources agree: overuse of “my bad” is directly attributable to “Clueless,” a 1995 movie that focused on the values and lifestyles of white, upper-class society. The fires of “my bad” were further stoked through inclusion in subsequent Hollywood screenplays and television programs, including at least 7 uses between 1998-2002 on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Example: 'She killed him! Oops, my bad. It's just dust I forgot to sweep under the rug.' [Cordelia]"

(And thank you, Shey, BSG has given me the only pantheon of deities that I will swear any allegiance to..)

ETA: Oh, Madhatter no bad, we just need winks and emoticons or somesuch, I guess, and missb, great minds...

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2007-05-05 15:13 ]
OK, I definitely remember "my bad" from the movie Clueless, Just didn't realize that it predated BtS, I thought it was the other way around.
So here is my theory. Any phrase that was popularized on BtS, even if used elsewhere earlier, by someone else, existed in The Mind Of Joss *first* and was accessed telepathically, then used by mere mortals.
And so say we all. :)

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