[LMB] When World-Views Collide, books

M. Haller Yamada thefabmadamem at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 9 09:50:48 GMT 2022

On Friday, January 7, 2022, 12:33:56 AM GMT+9, Kathy Collett <kcollett at hamilton.edu> wrote: 

On Jan 6, 2022, at 2:56 AM, Alex Kwan <litalex at gmail.com> wrote:
> You don’t need the story to know what a phrase is supposed to mean. 

Yes, and we see this all the time, especially with the internet and memes and the language of teens, etc.  Words and phrases leak out from in-groups and start being used without the original context being known.  For instance, I’ve used variations on “all your base are belong to us” with only a vague idea of the original context.  My children say “pay troll” without having ever played the original Adventure game where you had to pay the troll the golden eggs.  And culture continues to generate new examples — we’ve already had one mention of “hot buttered Jorts” on the list (thank you, Micki!), and I’ve seen a number elsewhere; I don’t know that it’s settled down to have one particular meaning — the original story is rich with possibilities (see https://www.cnet.com/how-to/jorts-the-cat-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-internets-new-favourite-cat/ if you want to know more).


Micki: LOL, just the mention of hot buttered Jorts makes me feel so melty inside. The whole episode is full of wordplay, and inspires wordplay, even though the main plot is about an HR issue. (My mind exploded just a little when I realized that Jorts -- Jean Shorts -- was meant to be a companion word to Jean(s).) I wonder if those are the cats' real names, or if the writer to Am I The Asshole changed them for anonymity.

I think a lot of us use words and phrases and then discover the story behind the thing -- which can makes us ridiculously delighted or a little bit uncomfortable. Of course I can't think of any recent examples where I looked up the etymology of a word, and discovered that it was originally used in X context. 

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