Sunday, July 26, 2009

Language Samples #21-25

I found these over the weekend on my road trip with my friend Rachel.

#21 - "Baby got back" Rachel thought I should post this one. This song came on the radio as we were driving. Trying to think of the various ways people describe this kept us entertained for a while. It is just a weird saying I think. Of course it refers to a woman's bottom. It does flow well, and is kind of an alliteration with two words that begin with "b". Interesting also how the woman is referred to as "baby" which can be a term of endearment or a degrading word dependent on how it is used.

#22 - "Who'd a thunk it?" This is a quote from Rachel, though I've heard other people say it before. Obviously it is not grammatically correct, but it is one of those things where you understand what is being asked even if it is not asked correctly. Our brains understand English enough that when the syntax is not correct (and in this case and made up word is used) we can still bring it to make sense. It seems like that is when someone really has a grasp of a language, when they can read or hear something like this and put it together to make sense. This phrase seems to be used for the same situations as other sayings like "Who would have guessed?" or "Who would have thought?"

#23 & 24 - "Think outside the bun." I saw this on a billboard for Taco Bell. It is a play on "Think outside the box." In this case, most fast food restaurants are burger places. Think outside the bun is telling us to not stick with what is normal or common, but go for something different, be creative or adventurous in what you eat, don't just get the same old thing. In the same way think outside the box is a term we use to encourage creativity. Don't just do the same things that have always be done, don't be satisfied with the status quo. Be creative, take risks, stretch your mind (oh that could be another one).

#25 - "I've got him tied around my wrist." Rachel said this on our trip. I have never heard this before. She used it in a way most people would use "wrapped around my finger" which I believe I used as one of my earlier language samples. It means that he will go wherever she goes or do whatever she wants him to do, just like something that was tied to her wrist (or wrapped around her finger) would have to go wherever her wrist goes or do whatever her wrist does. She's got the control and he is at her mercy.

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