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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Your Changing Language

My Linguistics teacher is a multilingual graduate student from Ukraine. She's positively beautiful-- tall and skinny, long dark hair, perfect nails-- and her voice is just as elegant as her posture. Her accent makes "syntax" and "sentence" sound identical, and she occasionally mispronounces a word, like using a long A in "cavity," but she's easy to understand and impossible to ignore. I have this class every morning at 10AM, and I swear to you, as I walk down the steps of the building every day, I have the same thought: I love college.

True, there's a group of boys who sit next to me and usually discuss how drunk they were the night before, or, on special occasions, how drunk they still are. And they often provide such insights to class discussion as, "Do you have any idea what she's talking about? I have no idea what she's talking about." Naturally, I was less than thrilled to be assigned a group project, not wanting to subject myself to large amounts of work while a couple of stooges talked about how "gay*" everything is. But I lucked out.

I'm working with two smart boys, one of whom was in my English class last quarter, and I had a surprisingly fun time working on a PowerPoint with them this afternoon. We need to make a presentation about how much English changes with use, so we've turned ours into the style of a '50s sex ed film. "Don't be embarrassed of your changing language! It happens to everybody!" As an example, we're using the word "awful," as it originally meant "awe-inspiring" and now generally means "unpleasant." For the first meaning, a picture of the Grand Canyon. For the second... a picture of Nickelback.

HAHA. I'm sorry. As one of my partners said, "I hope we don't offend anybody by doing that, but honestly... it's not our fault for criticizing Nickelback. It's their fault for listening to it." I concluded our study session by showing them isnickelbacktheworstbandever.com (which you NEED to visit), and giggling to myself for the rest of the day.

Maybe I'm biased, as I'm one of them, but I can't help but think that my age group is made up of the most amusing people alive. I mean, seriously. Collegehumor.com? Kanye West memes? Ugg boots? We understand comedy.

Sexy: Pianos. Elaboration is not needed, as I am stating the most obvious and true fact to ever be an obvious and true fact.
Unsexy: I'm sorry. Listen to what you wish. But, like, come on now.

Chipotle burritos this year: 1
(My brother just texted me to say he's keeping count of his burritos, too, and plans to beat me. Pfft. Yeah, OKAY.)
Subscribers: 23,481
Nail color: A dark grayish brown by OPI

*I don't think we need to go over this again, but do me a favor, guys, and just never say it. Please? It's mean and it makes you sound predictable and bigoted.

55 comments:

Snottlebie said...

College sounds really great Hayley!

...I wouldn't know. I'm up at 12 am on a school night and it's still "early."

I don't know if I've said this in my previous 1 comment, but when you write, you seem - real. Like, I know how that sounds (stupid, as you're obviously real) but I can see everything you describe and the way you describe it makes it sound real.

Moving on...FIRST! Haha, sorry I had to.

allysonkate said...

Oh gosh. I love being the same age as you, because I am experiencing these small scale college joys on a widescale level just as you are.
College. Is. Glorious.

...and so is having you back, dear. =]

Katie said...

You make me so excited for college Hayley! We have to decide our high school classes next year, and it's so stressful trying to decide what I want to do, how many AP courses I should take, etc. This entry cheered me up to know that it's not all stress! And that website made me laugh out loud, YES.

Phyllis said...

Hayley, have you watched JackDanyells on youtube? He has done a bunch of videos on words. I'm sure you've heard of him, but just in case I will leave this comment.

:)

megkatjo said...

My favorite band is Nickel Creek, which is a progressive bluegrass band. When I tell people, they sometimes think I mean Nickelback. I DO NOT MEAN NICKELBACK. I hate Nickelback more than I hate Nicholas Cage. Which is, by the way, a whole lot.

Dana said...

Wait, when did Nickelback take the top spot from Creed?

It used to be that when you searched "the worst band in the world" a little thing popped up saying, "Did you mean Creed?" You know, like when you misspell a word. Oh, I miss those times. All those giggles. I guess the world just moves one without me and picks a new worst band. This'll take some getting used to!

Kristi said...

Oh my goodness I just went to the video for Photograph and just about peed my pants from laughter when I read this comment:

"im gonna sing about something that seems to be deep but in trying so lacks any meaning whatsoever. By walking around with a guitar people assume I am very much intrested in music and can play. I often sit at parties and try to impress people by strumming the G chord, if im gutsy ill throw in a C chord and a D chord. O and im going to sing this song in a raspy voice, like the cool musicians do it."

Written by crashdummylev.

itjusmar said...

The Nickelback website is hilarious! Can I just say that my senior class was so close as to voting that photograph song as our song. I'm not sure what that tells you about my senior class but luckily it was voted out by Rascal Flatts 'You Wish.' I don't know if that's any better because I had no idea who they were before I found out their song was our class song. Keep in my this was the class of 07.

Holly said...

I COMPLETELY agree with you about Nickelback. In fact, there is a video on youtube of the band being pelted by rocks, which I find particularly amusing. Never fails to cheer me up.

Tom said...

Best "gay" story ever: So through elementary and middle school, pretty much everyone constantly used that word to describe anything undesirable (I'm sure you remember). A lot of my friends still do, some who are actually homophobic, some who are not. So I was talking to one of my best friends about gay marriage and whatnot, and he was asking how can it not be legal, like what possible arguments could be made against it. And I was like, "People say they're protecting traditional marriage and that a marriage is between a man and a woman," and he says, "That's so gay." And he didn't realize until a second later. Yeah. It was tremendous.

Katie said...

Funny how the stooges' use use of the word "gay" in your class would be a prime example of how much the English language changes with use.

NOT funny that you subjected me to approximately 8 seconds of a Nickelback song before I left a distraught comment on the video and quickly closed out of it. But the website you linked to made me LOL so I forgive you.

Pianos are indeed sexy, no doubt about it! I think MiLo is looking for the wrong girls if he still thinks they don't get chicks. ;D

Margaret said...

I lol'd for a good minute at that website.

And I totally agree about our generation! Kind of... I mean, I think there are two radically different types of people in our generation. The people who think Uggs are fashionable, and those who think they're laughable. But really, the latter couldn't exist without the former, and while I'm proud to say that I think Uggs are ridiculous, I wouldn't be able to say that if someone along the line didn't think they were a spankin' classy idea. Our half of the generation may thrive on mocking the other half, but without them... we wouldn't exist. We owe them so much. *steps off soap box*

Katie said...

Use use use use use use, I'm obviously tired. My comment would have been so clever had it not been for my overuse of the word use. I'm going to bed.

Have a good 'morrow!

JoshV said...

It's funny that you wrote about the english language, as I just read your latest tweet before I read this blog and it went:

_^__^__^__^_, _^___^__^_(_)^_


if only you dropped the "of" and made "area" "ar'a".

Scott said...

I have human physiology every morning at 9:30, and I just strut into that place. It makes me SO happy! It makes me freaking love being in university! So I totally get what you mean.

And when it comes to group projects... I have to do a group poster for my Anthropology class, and I'm so nervous about it. It's my first group project in college, and it's worth a lot of marks... I hope my partners don't end up being too vapid.

And a fun fact about Nickleback, if anything about them is fun... They're from the same province in Canada as me! #pointlesstriviaisfun

Fae said...

Lol, I love you Hayley. Because you're blogging again, the least I can do is comment more often. Sounds like you're really having fun at school.

barefootfiona said...

This sounds like exactly what I want from University! And I'll be going in just over eight months... I'm counting down the freakin' seconds.

eibbore said...

I didn't get a chance to comment on your last blog because I read it on my phone and frankly it's just awkward to comment on things from there. However I would like to say that I'M SO GLAD YOUR BACK.

It's ridiculously sad, but your blogs/vlogs always add a little awesome to my day and gosh darn it I missed it.

ImJustDevin said...

I'm so glad that you're having fun in college. You give me hope that when I get out of this hell hole, there will be hope for me somewhere. (:

Anonymous said...

I am kinda jealous you love college so much. I'm nearly 21, and have just started uni. I have to say...i'm not loving it so much. I mean, it's great, but it's not as fantastic for me as it is for everyone else. Fail lol.

Johnny Rollerfeet said...

so "your gay" isn't even ironically funny anymore? that makes me sad. :(

i'll paraphrase rwj and say: you're false and homosexual for exposing me to that video/song. ugh.

Brynne Annaë said...

That sounds like a great class. My school doesn't really have linguistics . . . :( at all. And I love linguistics. BUT they have an amazing history department, particularly pertaining to MEDIEVAL history, and that's where I'm going to major, so all's cool. :D

Nokorola said...

I LOVE THIS: I can't help but think that my age group is made up of the most amusing people alive. I mean[...] Ugg boots?

BURN!

I'm glad you're enjoying the side-trip of life known as University.

I'm awful for your life Hayley.

Have a good day. :-)

Anonymous said...

Damn you. I clicked on that Nickleback link and now all of the videos in my "Recommended for You" section are Nickelback songs.

Sean said...

haha. did you know that apparently johnny likes nickelback? it made me lol.

acroatic said...

After some careful looking at 0:03 of the horrid linked-to video, I have determined that it is, indeed, a colander on Joey's head.

Dan said...

Hey Hayley, haven't commented in a while but this 1 is kinda cool. I graduated university in June and became an English teacher and I'm now using your blog as a way of showing examples of successful personal writing in a blog style :)

alyson said...

Yea, I'm not one for group projects either but in college it usually tends to be okay since most of the people actually want to be there.

Completely agree on Nickelback.

Miia said...

Hayley, you actually make me want to go to University. I'd totally go if only the subjects I've chosen for Grade 12 (final year in Australia) would allow it.

Anyway, you're freaking awesome!

DoomAngelKitty said...

About your Urkarine teacher, it remindes me of my Japanese teacher. She comes from Hong Kong and when she came to my school in 2008, she couldn't pronounce the name "Daniel", instead of pronouncing it as "Danielle". My class was in hysterics and stuff.

I have her this year for Japanese (she is the only teacher who teaches Japanese in my school). She is so funny and cool.

Gavin said...

Haha, Nickelback... Now that's funy.

I said it on your last post but I think it needs to be said again - Great to have you back Hayley.

Annie said...

College sounds awesome! It sounds exactly what I want my university experience to be like.

*sigh*

Just three more years, just three more long, long, looong years.

PS. I missed your blogs. Just thought I'd mention it again.

Hema said...

I forgot how good your blog was, Hayley <3

CRUNKRacoon said...

Just half a year! Then, I'll be off to have wonderful collegiate experiences. Not really, but a girl can dream. Awesome moments don't happen when you go to school 20 min. away and will be DRIVEN EVERY DAY by my older sister. My inevitable fate.

Such is life.

amzeh said...

why why why would I click a link in the 'unsexy' category?!
That was like an 'alternative metal' version of rickrolling. 'Backrolled. (you would have done a much better job thinking up a name for it)

Sarah said...

Wow, Linguistics sounds incredibly interesting! Hearing about college from you makes me believe in it. A bit more than two years to go for me, though...

I thought you would appreciate this--it's the only way to make Nickelback bearable, you may have seen it somewhere online: http://bit.ly/6oKSOz

Catherine said...

I would just like to share that at my lunch table today we spotted a girl wearing TWO different Uggs. It wasn't enough that she was rich enough to own one pair, but she was wearing the same boot just different colors. My friends and I were just absolutely flabbergasted.

tranquilily said...

I saw Nickelback live with my friend this summer, they are one of her favorite bands!

I am not a hater (I mean, I would probably choose them over Hannah/Miley), but I do think that it's so cheesy how they try to make their "deep" lyrics "cool" by making it all rock-y.

Also, it makes me so happy to click on your blog and have something new to read! I'm glad you're back.

KatieSham said...

We talked about this in Lit today.

We talked about 'hopefully'. It was originally used as an adverb. If you were to approach a situation hopefully. But now it means that you hope something will happen.

YOU KNOW.

Also, Nickelback sounds like someone is scrubbing his vocal chords with sand paper. And that is not ok.

Annie said...

In my precal class the boys I sit by, do the same exact thing. It's always, "Man i was soooo wasted. Let's party again. Wanna go smoke after school? blah blah stupid boy talk here blah blah."

Kate said...

i swear, photograph gets slower every time i hear it.
and now the first line (which is the only one i know) is stuck in my had.

also, HUZZAH linguistics.

Vuraaa said...

OH. MY. GOD. i had no idea so many other people shared my genuine hatred towards nickelback and ESPECIALLY THAT RIDICULOUSLY UNSEXY SONG. the lyrics...could have been written by my 7 year old cousin with attention deficit disorder.

Jordiekins said...

NEW TRAILER OMFGasifaoifbaof


http://www.filmsfirst.com/movie/193/harry_potter_the_deathly_hallows_1/1

Thom van Rijckvevorsel said...

I love reading your blog, and watching your vids :-)

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Maria said...

That sounds brilliant! I'm still in high school, and most of the time it appears that my whole school is populated with those "awesome guys." :/

That sounds so fantastic... glad to hear you're still lovin' it.

Kay said...

I like linguistics, but there is way to much vocabulary in it. Next semester I'll get to take an english literature class and I am way more excited about english literature than linguistics.

Isn't it funny how the meaning of the word "gay" changed. In my grammar school english class, we read a text about Shakespeare and it mentioned some kind of parade that was led by a "gay young man". A girl asked "So, homosexuals were already accepted in society at that time?".

P.S.: Do you mind to tell the titles of the songs you linked us to? Youtube won't let me watch 'em because I'm in Europe and there is some kind of copyright war going on.

Beach girl said...

I don't get the lyrics to Nickelback. What about Joey's head?

William said...

You hate Nickelback, too? I thought I was the only one! Oh my goodness they're horrible.

Alice Wilder said...

You make me so excited to go to college! I hate it when people call things "gay" because it isn't a derogatory word. Nickleback is terrible, TERRIBLE. When they come on the radio I want to pull a Van Gogh just so I don't have to hear it any more.

traderbob11 said...

SOOOO......

Back to my constantly flirting with you
......and.....
you constantly ignoring me....
AHHH GOOD TIMES!!

Let the fun begin

That girl from Australia whose videos I told you I've been watching.
Ya, she dumped me....SOOOO....
HOW YOU DOING?????
:)

Anonymous said...

I also dislike both Nickelback and the use of the word gay in a derogatory way. Instead of saying 'that's so gay!' people should maybe start saying 'that's so Nickelback!'

And I did a module on language change a while ago - really interesting :) Much moreso than the subsequent module on syntax, uggghhh.

Nathanael said...

I'm going back to college this year, and I'm thinking of majoring in linguistics. I'm glad it's been enjoyable for you; that project idea sounds brilliant.

Meg said...

Aww, you make me miss freshman year. Have fun now, because it gets a little tougher as the years go on!

Also, I LOVE that you are sharing your nail polish color. I am slightly obsessed with the stuff!

said...

Aww man, I love Nickelback xD