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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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September 27 2003

Michael Quinion reviews M. Adams' "Slayer Slang" and remains sceptical about the show's linguistic merits.

Hmm, just a bit sure of himself for someone who hasn't even seen an episode. The phrase "Work with me British man" comes to mind...
The only real "problem" with Slayer Slang is that it avoids complex lingustic issues but this is by design. It seems to me like Michael Quinion and Michael Adams comes from two different viewpoint of pop culture slang that don't mix.
If you're curoius about where Joss got the idea for his "Slayer Slang" check out the movie Heathers. I know it's kind of a lost film now but they used to show it almost every weekend on Nightflight in the late 80's. My group of friends back then used to parrot dialogue from it all the time, it was so "very".
Last week on Good Morning America, Jennifer Garner said that something made her feel "...all Pledge of Allegiencey." Dianne Sawyer commented, "that's the first time anyone ever used the term, 'pledge of allegiency' on this show."

Ms. Garner said, "but you know what I mean."

Diane said, "I know what you mean."

Adding the "y" to make Pledge of Allegience an adverb is Slayer Slang. Like, "I'm all stay inny."

That it's used on a national talk/news show viewed by millions makes it relevant.

And, if you ask Michael Adams, (and I have) that's half the battle, that other people understand the slang, even if they don't use it.
But isn't it arguable whether or not that slang can be traced back to Buffy and only Buffy? There's a case for it, sure, but adding a suffix to the end of the word to make it into a different part of speech doesn't seem original enough to be able to claim that nobody thought of doing it on their own without being influenced by Buffy. If we were talking about specific words that the show had created and made popular, that'd be one thing. But we're talking about manipulation of the language in ways that frankly, seem very natural to me.
Totally. Only word I can remember from 80s Californian Valley Speak.
It's about who popularizes the slang. So, while Joss may have heard the gerundification(!) of words from some kid in Worcester, or a fisherman off the coast of Alaska, Joss gets the credit for bringing it into mainstream media.

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