Sunday, February 3, 2008

Contagious Lingo

So, once in a while in my blogs, I will attempt to chip away at the various day to day experiences that prove that I am joyfully soul-less. I am often enamored with finding clues that validate many of my post-modern suspicions that I am simply a vessel for outside culture. I am a giddy sponge. I suck up what is around me. My favorite example is contagious lingo. Ever have a friend who simply has a way of talking that is particularly them? They have a cadence to their conversational style or an abundance of odd idioms? Do you ever notice when someone who has been around them, including yourself, they suddenly begin borrowing phraseology? Where you get that creepy and entertaining feeling that one person is slightly becoming the other? That happened to me and Matt Littlejohn. It also sometimes happens with Karyn Behnke’s wacko phraseology like ‘crankerpants’, ‘secretly’ and ‘butts’.
My crash course into Wittgenstein in undergrad left me slightly scarred. But the one thing it taught me quite well is: we are the words we use. We conceive of ourselves through language and language makes us what we know to be ourselves. The implication of this, of course, is that when you start borrowing your friend’s strange terms, you aren’t just borrowing language, you are becoming your friend. Your souls are gooing together into one lump of lingo. That is an odd thing to think about.
-December 18, 2005

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