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"Sillification" of the English Language

 
 
NinaDee
 
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2013 02:44 pm
I came up with the term "sillification" to describe a what I perceive as a recent phenomenon in American English among young people. I'm curious to know what others think about this.

Sillification

Definitions:

A. The linguistic phenomenon in the US whereby English words are altered to form a silly-sounding variation in informal speech.

Sillification contrasts with the widespread phenomenon of forming abbreviations in American English, as words formed via sillification are often the same length as, or longer than, their original counterparts.

B. Words created through such a process.

There are various sub-sections of the sillification category, including:
a) "Cutes-ifications" — Words that are made to sound cutesy, usually by emulating baby talk.
b) Adjectival/Noun Sillifications — Silly-sounding adjectives and nouns usually formed by adding a suffix to, or another word within, an existing word.
c) Silly Mispronunciations — Words that are purposely mispronounced for a silly-sounding effect.


Examples:

1. Regular Sillifications:
a) “Redonculous” (ridiculous)
b) “Cray cray” or “cray” (crazy)
c) “Driz-unk” (drunk)
d) “Preggers” (pregnant)
e) “Funzies” (fun)
f) “Coolio” (cool)
g) “Bi-atch” (bitch)
h) “Crack-a-lackin'” (crackin')
i) “Absotutely” (absolutely)
j) “Dillio” (deal)

2. Cutes-ifications:
a) “Tum tum” (tummy)
b) “Din din” (dinner)
c) “Doggie” (dog)
d) “Kitty” (cat)
e) “Horsey” (horse)
f) “Thingies” (things)
g) “Undies” (underwear)

3. Adjectival/Noun Sillifications:
a) Adding "-licious" to the ends of words, e.g. “bootylicious”
b) Adding "-tastic" or "-tacular" to the ends of words, e.g. “****-tastic,” “craptacular”
c) Adding "-ball" to the ends of words, e.g. “goofball,” “cornball,” “sketchball”
d) Adding "fuckin'" to the middle of an adjective, e.g. “fan-fuckin-tastic”

4. Silly Mispronunciations:
a) “Par-tay” (party)
b) “Boo-tay” (booty)
c) “Liberry” (library)
d) “Tar-jay” (Target)

 
tsarstepan
 
  3  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2013 02:56 pm
@NinaDee,
NinaDee wrote:

I came up with the term "sillification" to describe a what I perceive as a recent phenomenon in American English among young people. I'm curious to know what others think about this.

If anyone asks me to give them an example to define the difficult word that is irony, I can now relax and simply refer them to this thread. Thanks NinaDee.

These are slang terms and many have been around for mere decades. No one is accusing a person who uses these words as being a high brow speaker. These words are for casual conversation. I don't mind them being used as they add flavor to everyday life. Now if you find these words in an academic paper (high school or college) then the teacher or professor would need to call out the student and grade said assignment accordingly (unless the paper is a short work of fiction and in that case the grade determined on that paper depends on whether the slang is used correctly by the student).
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2013 03:53 pm
@tsarstepan,
Fifty years ago I got marks off on my first long paper in an english class. It was about Dante's Inferno, which I'd already read some of in italian since I took italian as an afterschool college class when I was in high school but now had read in english translation. The marks all said diction. At the time, I had no idea what the teacher meant, but she explained when I asked: they were about my being too informal for an academic paper.

We all know I still write with leaves from that old tree, as I play with language as long as I'm awake and maybe in my dreams, which can be pretty talky while speeding along unexplainably. That play with words is often quiescent, but always in my brain. Sometimes I find out some element of what I am thinking at the same time the reader does. That sounds odd but I remember reading about this phenomenon within the last week, and not negatively, No link, though.

I can understand thinking as NinaDee does, but gather she doesn't yet know that language has an amoebic quality and is richer for it.

Oh, by the way, I'm not preggers.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2013 04:26 pm
Yawwwwnnnn . . .

This **** has been going on for centuries . . .
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  4  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2013 04:40 pm
@NinaDee,
It has been going on for hundreds of years. I am also sick of it!

I would add the following words that no self-respecting English speaker should ever use\

1. Bus for autobus (a cute shortening of the word)

2. Movie for motion picture (because guess what? The pictures move.).

3. Jeans for a pair of denim pants (a cute little name for a fabric associated with Genoa).

4. Hijack for a crime during travel (a cute combination of the word highway with the word jacking).

5 And of course, teenager silly observance that adolescents progress through ages that have the suffix "teen".

I think it is horrible that these silly words are used so often.



Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2013 04:58 pm
@maxdancona,
Right on, max! And let's not forget the word "sillification", a cutesy-poo neologism that has somehow now crept into our everyday speech. Shameful!
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 04:36 am
@maxdancona,

Quote:
Bus for autobus (a cute shortening of the word)


It actually comes from omnibus, a word borrowed from latin.

I prefer bus myself.
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 06:28 am
@McTag,
Whatever floats your boat McTag.

I also know people who refer to their automobiles as a "car" (which I think is a short form of the word 'carriage').
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 07:10 am
Although car may be a shortened form of carriage, it was in use to describe railroad passenger vehicles long before the automobile was invented. In the mid-19th century in the United States, people often referred to railroad travel as "taking the cars."
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 02:19 pm
@Setanta,
Not only that but in Eire, at least, the word 'car' was in use to denote a horse-drawn vehicle as recently as the late 19th-early 20th century. Viz. James Joyce's references to same in the early chapters of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
0 Replies
 
timur
 
  3  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 02:27 pm
Setanta wrote:
it was in use to describe railroad passenger vehicles long before the automobile was invented.


That's why a street car is not an automobile..
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 02:32 pm
@timur,
I think the point is that, no matter how the word 'car' is used, it is just a shortened form of the word 'carriage.'
timur
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 02:38 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Hmm, given the below quote, one would think differently, that carriage originated from car:

Online etymology dicionary wrote:
car (n.)
c.1300, "wheeled vehicle," from Anglo-French carre, Old North French carre, from Vulgar Latin *carra, related to Latin carrum, carrus (plural carra), originally "two-wheeled Celtic war chariot," from Gaulish karros, a Celtic word (cf. Old Irish and Welsh carr "cart, wagon," Breton karr "chariot"), from PIE *krsos, from root *kers- "to run" (see current (adj.)).
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 02:45 pm
@timur,
So "car" is not a silly word at all.

My sincere apologies to anyone who uses the word "car" who may have been offended by my grave error.

Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 02:48 pm
@timur,
Hmmm. That would seem to suggest that the word "carriage" is perhaps a sillification, an unnecessary elaboration derived from the simple word "car."
timur
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 02:51 pm
@maxdancona,
Being no expert in trendy sillification, I'm not in a position to judge, therefore no offense taken..

0 Replies
 
timur
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 02:55 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Going further, it wasn't "unnecessary", as, if a car was two-wheeled, a carriage was/is generally four wheeled, hence the elaboration, perhaps..
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 02:58 pm
@timur,
Let's confuse this issue a bit further, if we may. A horse-drawn two-wheeled vehicle is generally referred to as a "chariot." Does this muddy the waters even more? Gosh, I hope so.
timur
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 03:10 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Are you trying to put the fire on the subject? Twisted Evil
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 03:14 pm
@timur,

Quote:
Going further, it wasn't "unnecessary", as, if a car was two-wheeled, a carriage was/is generally four wheeled, hence the elaboration, perhaps..


All theories equally valid here.
0 Replies
 
 

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