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Teenage girls so, like, rule English
The Australian ^ | January 09, 2006 | John Harlow and Dan Box

Posted on 01/08/2006 10:30:02 PM PST by Dundee

Teenage girls so, like, rule English

THE teenage girl is the most powerful influence on the evolution of the English language around the world.

According to new research, the typical 16-year-old girl -- armed with a mobile phone and a wide circle of friends -- has ensured the success of new phrases such as "muffin top" (a bulge of flesh over low-cut jeans) and "whale tail" (the appearance of a g-string above the waistband of a skirt or trousers).

Sali Tagliamonte, associate professor of linguistics at the University of Toronto, believes the strongest recent shift has been the spread of Californian "Valley Girl" style, promoted around the globe by television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The OC.

This style of speech is characterised by inserting drawled words such as "like" and "so" to add emphasis to a sentence, which rises in pitch at the end.

"Valley Girl has gone beyond a fad and is now rooted in different forms of English around the world," Ms Tagliamonte said. "Girls are the single most powerful force in the English language today." The research was among work discussed at the annual meeting of the American Dialect Society in New Mexico over the weekend.

Wayne Glowka, chairman of the ADS New Words Committee, said girls used new or fashionable words as status symbols, forcing the constant evolution of the language as fashions changed.

"Females are very quick to pick up on any aspect of fashion, whether it is clothing or speech, that shows off status. Men are less quick to do so," he said.

Ellen Grote, a researcher at Edith Cowan University in Perth, has studied how Aboriginal teenage girls borrowed words from other cultures in their email gossip to construct a communal identity.

"They would recruit words that appear in American hip hop music. That was one way they would build their own identity," she said.

Barry Spurr, senior lecturer in English at the University of Sydney, said social pressures meant Australian men in particular were more reluctant to display their language abilities.

"They are afraid to be seen expressing thought because they are sexually insecure," Dr Spurr said. "They want to be seen to be real men and the standard for real men wouldn't be seen to express a thought.

"The big problem in Australia is getting young men to talk at all. Girls are much more orally adventurous."

Linguists believe young women and men use language differently: women ask questions out of politeness, while men want data. Women allow each other to finish a sentence before starting their own, while men interrupt more.

In addition, women seeking prestige pick up fashionable new words faster than men. Experts believe this has been going on for centuries. A Finnish study of 15th-century English court correspondence shows that aristocratic wives moved from archaic "ye" to "you" significantly earlier than their husbands.


TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Political Humor/Cartoons; US: California
KEYWORDS: andimlike; andsheslike; bubbleheads; culturalentropy; girls; language; stuckonstupid; teens
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"The big problem in Australia is getting young men to talk at all. Girls are much more orally adventurous."

Now I know why we keep seeing Clinton over here.

1 posted on 01/08/2006 10:30:04 PM PST by Dundee
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To: Dundee
"Barry Spurr, senior lecturer in English at the University of Sydney, said social pressures meant Australian men in particular were more reluctant to display their language abilities.

"They are afraid to be seen expressing thought because they are sexually insecure," Dr Spurr said. "They want to be seen to be real men and the standard for real men wouldn't be seen to express a thought."

What a bunch of - like oh my gawd - CRAP!

2 posted on 01/08/2006 10:36:34 PM PST by endthematrix (None dare call it ISLAMOFACISM!)
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To: Dundee
Why are we subjected to opinions by people obviously educated FAR beyond their native intelligence?

Nam Vet

3 posted on 01/08/2006 10:40:53 PM PST by Nam Vet (The Democrat Party of America is perfectly P.C. * .(* P.C. = Patriotically Challenged)
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To: Nam Vet
Why are we subjected to opinions by people obviously educated FAR beyond their native intelligence?

My theory is that it they ever shut up their heads would explode in a shower of BS.

4 posted on 01/08/2006 10:45:09 PM PST by Dundee (They gave up all their tomorrows for our today’s.)
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To: Dundee; Nam Vet
"Why are we subjected to opinions by people obviously educated FAR beyond their native intelligence?
My theory is that it they ever shut up their heads would explode in a shower of BS."


"F*ckin' A man..f*ckin' A.."

5 posted on 01/08/2006 10:56:30 PM PST by Khurkris ("Hell, I was there"...Elmer Keith.)
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To: Dundee
It's not just vernacular but the speed young girls talk.

My family was at a new fusion restaurant last week and the waitress was incomprehensible. My brother in law had to make her repeat herself three times to make his order.

Plus she didn't have a clue about anything on the menu other than what she had memorized.

My stuffed chicken breast turned out to be an over cooked breaded chicken schnitzel.

I would have never guessed that from the menu and her pathetic attempt to describe it.

Stuffed with butter and garlic?

Sorry dear that's a marinade and you don't take a marinade cut, bread it and BBQ it under a couple of hot clay bricks until it is harder than the plate you're eating on.

The fashion sense of 17 year old girls today is going to be the death of us all. But like, fa shaw, who am I to judge. Bag my face and gag me with a spoon!!!
6 posted on 01/08/2006 10:59:12 PM PST by beaver fever
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To: Dundee; mikrofon; martin_fierro
Teenage girls so, like, rule English

Whatever.

7 posted on 01/08/2006 10:59:32 PM PST by Charles Henrickson (Shut! Up!)
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To: Khurkris; Dundee; Nam Vet

Ya know, you just can't make this s**i up. It'd be hillarious, if it wasn't (sadly) true.


8 posted on 01/08/2006 11:00:53 PM PST by farlander
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To: Dundee

"muffin top" (a bulge of flesh over low-cut jeans) and "whale tail" (the appearance of a g-string above the waistband of a skirt or trousers).


And that this new lingo refers to dressing like streetwalkers is also comforting.


9 posted on 01/08/2006 11:05:00 PM PST by Names Ash Housewares
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To: Dundee
"They are afraid to be seen expressing thought because they are sexually insecure," Dr Spurr said. "They want to be seen to be real men and the standard for real men wouldn't be seen to express a thought."

Sounds like a feminist "real man" to me.
10 posted on 01/08/2006 11:06:54 PM PST by Sofa King (A wise man uses compromise as an alternative to defeat. A fool uses it as an alternative to victory.)
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To: Charles Henrickson; Dundee; mikrofon
Teenage girls so, like, rule English

Dude, I'm all, 'that's hella heinous.'"

11 posted on 01/08/2006 11:07:04 PM PST by martin_fierro (Ferrrrr Shurrrrr)
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To: farlander

Yep...and Welcome Aboard Farlander.


12 posted on 01/08/2006 11:10:28 PM PST by Khurkris ("Hell, I was there"...Elmer Keith.)
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To: Khurkris

"Hey Peter, man, check out channel 9, it's the breast exams."


13 posted on 01/08/2006 11:23:06 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (Peace Begins in the Womb)
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To: Dundee

I still use ye, but I'm slow.


14 posted on 01/08/2006 11:23:09 PM PST by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: Dundee

I'm reading the story, and I'm like, "Yeah". Uh-huh.


15 posted on 01/08/2006 11:28:25 PM PST by Rocky (Air America: Robbing the poor to feed the Left)
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To: Dundee
"They would recruit words that appear in American hip hop music. That was one way they would build their own identity," she said.

Ummmmmm....

Ok.

To me, it sounds like "they" are borrowing someone else's identity, not building their own. If "they" were building their OWN identity, they would use words from their own culture (or make up new words!!).

In addition, what is all this crap about young men never speaking because they are sexually insecure?? How did the writer make THAT connection?? That is quite a leap. This sounds like a page right out of the feminist and gay agenda play book. It is how they imagine men to be (or want them to be), and it is how Hollywood portrays men, but other than that, the concept has no basis in reality. When I was in high school, guys spoke to each other constantly, laughing and joking. Most didn't seem to be insecure, at least not in any major way. Very bizarre article. One has to be really dedicated to pushing "the agenda" to put out a piece like this.
16 posted on 01/08/2006 11:51:50 PM PST by Zetman (This secret to simple and inexpensive cold fusion intentionally left blank.)
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To: Dundee
"They are afraid to be seen expressing thought because they are sexually insecure,"

That is one of the strangest quotes I have seen around here in a long time. "Cats run from dogs because they like to drink milk" makes about as much sense.

17 posted on 01/09/2006 12:11:13 AM PST by KellyAdmirer
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To: Dundee

Simple math would demonstrate the truth of this, since 16 year old girls talk without pause from the moment they wake up until the moment they fall asleep (with the phone still at their ear) it only makes sense that they would lead the world in language innovation. This article discusses the English language only, but I'm sure it would prove true of all language, with the possible exception of Arabic, since those women are all so repressed.


18 posted on 01/09/2006 1:47:00 AM PST by jocon307 (Still mourning the loss of CBS FM)
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To: Dundee
Girls are much more orally adventurous."

God bless 'em!

19 posted on 01/09/2006 1:54:31 AM PST by vikzilla
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To: Dundee
This style of speech is characterised by inserting drawled words such as "like" and "so" to add emphasis to a sentence, which rises in pitch at the end.

The fact they they honestly can't/won't hear how stupid it makes them sound only compounds the problem. They, like, wanna be, all, like taken seriously? in the real world. And, like, when they, you know, aren't taken seriously and all that they take up the banner of feminism because they are too foolish to see that it is their own behavior that is holding them back - not men, not the world, not the oppressive patriarchical corporate system, not George Bush.

For great fun, try parroting the "like, you knows, I was all, you knows" back at them. You can even embellish it with some eye-rolling and sneering. When they react, explain that it sounds awful when an adult talks like that, and that if they ever want to be taken seriously as a young adult they should STOP IT!

< /soapbox >

20 posted on 01/09/2006 4:39:09 AM PST by Lil'freeper
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To: Dundee
This style of speech is characterised by inserting drawled words such as "like" and "so" to add emphasis to a sentence, which rises in pitch at the end.

I'm SUUUreee. Like...he really knows. If he like really LISTened, he'd know that it's a rise and a drawn out drop at the EEeend. He's so like...OUT of iiiiiiiiit.

Know your dingbats.

21 posted on 01/09/2006 4:53:15 AM PST by guitfiddlist (When the 'Rats break out switchblades, it's no time to invoke Robert's Rules.)
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To: Dundee

Hmmm...interesting. But I would have guessed that it was the African American hip hop community that contributes more new words and meanings to English than Valley girls. Word...


22 posted on 01/09/2006 5:03:21 AM PST by Pharmboy (The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stones.)
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To: Dundee

Uhhhgg...

Female mouth move, not put food in.

Mean much trouble.


23 posted on 01/09/2006 5:57:16 AM PST by Dr.Zoidberg (Mohammedism - Bringing you only the best of the 6th century for fourteen hundred years.)
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To: Names Ash Housewares

"And that this new lingo refers to dressing like streetwalkers is also comforting."

Since they are both insults which tend to keep "fashionable" girls from making those fashion mistakes, it is comforting. I find "muffin tops" especially disgusting.


24 posted on 01/09/2006 6:46:32 AM PST by monday
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To: Dundee
Girls are much more orally adventurous

Should that really be, "verbally adventurous," rather than what the article chose? Poor choice of words.

25 posted on 01/09/2006 7:07:13 AM PST by Lou L
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To: beaver fever

Forgive my complete ignorance, but what is a "fusion" restaurant?


26 posted on 01/09/2006 9:09:52 AM PST by Choose Ye This Day (Win the war. Confirm the judges. Cut the taxes. Control the spending. Secure the border.)
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To: Names Ash Housewares

Ya gotta admit that 'Muffin Top' is a brilliant descriptive phrase. I roflmao when I read it.


27 posted on 01/09/2006 9:41:18 AM PST by wildbill
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To: jocon307

The only thing I really don't get? Is how inflection has changed over the years? So every sentence? Sounds like a question? Even when it's not?


28 posted on 01/09/2006 9:47:27 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: Lil'freeper
I was being conversed by one of these chicks once. She was saying things such as, "then I was like ..."

You know the sentence construction I'm referring to.

She finally ran out of breath after having said "Then he was like, it's OK with me."

So I asked her, "Well what were you like?"

She stared at me in stunned disbelief.

29 posted on 01/09/2006 9:50:08 AM PST by HIDEK6
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To: linda_22003

The question-end isn't a recent thing . . . it's been going on since I was in junior high, and I got out of junior high in 1983.


30 posted on 01/09/2006 9:50:20 AM PST by Xenalyte (Can you count, suckas? I say the future is ours . . . if you can count.)
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To: wildbill

Me too, lol...

I have to admit, I luv muffins though...


31 posted on 01/09/2006 9:50:58 AM PST by RedWing9 (No tag here... Just want to stay vague...)
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To: Xenalyte

I know it's not recent; I did say "over the years" but it's definitely AFTER my time (I'm 50). I grew up ending declarative sentences with a period, not a question mark. Y'know?


32 posted on 01/09/2006 9:54:21 AM PST by linda_22003
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To: wildbill
Ya gotta admit that 'Muffin Top' is a brilliant descriptive phrase.

It's certainly more concise than "Six pounds of $#!+ in a five pound sack", but it describes the same phenomenon.

33 posted on 01/09/2006 9:54:46 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Names Ash Housewares

Those 2 terms made me laugh my head off!


34 posted on 01/09/2006 9:54:47 AM PST by Muzzle_em ("Get busy LIVING or get busy dying")
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To: Names Ash Housewares
For your viewing pleasure a "Muffin top"


35 posted on 01/09/2006 9:56:01 AM PST by Morass of Negativity (Why do the Kennedys always end up dead or wearing neck braces?)
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To: Dr.Zoidberg

LOL! Even a lower primate gets it! ;-)


36 posted on 01/09/2006 9:56:16 AM PST by Pyro7480 (Sancte Joseph, terror daemonum, ora pro nobis!)
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To: linda_22003

I think these folks have the mentality of scared little bunny rabbits. Specifically, they're afraid to put their character or reputations on the line by actually declaring something. Instead, they phrase their timid little statement as a question, hoping to build consensus. They feel secure only in a group. I find them pathetic.


37 posted on 01/09/2006 9:57:52 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Choose Ye This Day

a dish has tastes comprised of different ethnicities.

asian and southwest combined for example.


38 posted on 01/09/2006 9:58:40 AM PST by wallcrawlr (Pray for the troops [all the troops here and abroad]: Success....and nothing less!!)
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To: Dundee

There is nothing sillier than a young teenage girl. They get a little better when they approach 16. Not to say they aren't sweet and cute, just silly.


39 posted on 01/09/2006 9:59:03 AM PST by yarddog
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To: Morass of Negativity

Notice that number two, with the artificially coloured hair, also has a 'target' on her lower back ...


40 posted on 01/09/2006 9:59:11 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Names Ash Housewares
And of course the "Whale tail"


41 posted on 01/09/2006 9:59:14 AM PST by Morass of Negativity (Why do the Kennedys always end up dead or wearing neck braces?)
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To: ArrogantBustard
Only adds to her "look".

Very sexy.... (sarcasm implied).

42 posted on 01/09/2006 10:01:35 AM PST by Morass of Negativity (Why do the Kennedys always end up dead or wearing neck braces?)
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To: Dundee
Ellen Grote, a researcher at Edith Cowan University in Perth, has studied how Aboriginal teenage girls borrowed words from other cultures in their email gossip to construct a communal identity.

You gotta love the modern world.

43 posted on 01/09/2006 10:01:52 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Dundee
has ensured the success of new phrases such as "muffin top" (a bulge of flesh over low-cut jeans)

In the States its known as a "gunt".

44 posted on 01/09/2006 10:04:43 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: Morass of Negativity

These chicks in hip-huggers really aren't nearly as fat as they look. Theu just don't understand trousers: the belt goes at the waist. In addition to holding up the trousers, it identifies the waist, marking the transition from the hips to the torso. The SPOSIAFPS chicks have put thier belts in the middle of their hips, creating the appearance of two waists, or alternatively, of a huge "spare tyre" in their middle. It's ugly. If they'd put their belts on their real waists, they'd look like they have really long legs, and amply proportioned hips. Most men I know find that look very attractive, very feminine, very womanly.


45 posted on 01/09/2006 10:07:10 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
I must commend you sir for your passionate discourse on womens fashion.
46 posted on 01/09/2006 10:10:22 AM PST by Morass of Negativity (Why do the Kennedys always end up dead or wearing neck braces?)
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To: Morass of Negativity
Woof, the end should justify the jeans.

And the tattoo - a touch of class
47 posted on 01/09/2006 12:41:27 PM PST by ASOC (The result of choosing between the lesser of two evils, in the end, leaves you with, well, evil.)
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To: Dundee
has ensured the success of new phrases such as "muffin top" (a bulge of flesh over low-cut jeans)

Also known as the "busted can of biscuits" look.

48 posted on 01/09/2006 12:48:18 PM PST by Lizavetta
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To: Dundee
"Girls are the single most powerful force in the English language today."

That's because they get more practice always runnin' THEIR F%*#@&% YAP!!!

49 posted on 01/09/2006 1:03:49 PM PST by Hatteras
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To: Morass of Negativity

I like my muffins with icing--so I can lick it off the top.


50 posted on 01/09/2006 1:05:41 PM PST by wildbill
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