5 thoughts on “Art Oblivion”

  1. There was a time when Americans spoke English, but now I often have to ask people to translate for me.
    Firstly, what is a homegirl, and secondly why ‘look like’ instead of ‘looks like’?

  2. Interesting question to ask. ‘Homegirl’, I believe, refers to the main girl in the picture. “Look like” vs “looks like” is simply the use of a specific dialect. Both are as American English as any other English used in the country.
    As you are aware, English was brought to the North American continent from England. Previously, those residing here likely only spoke Native languages. However, over time, the English usage here evolved in dialect from that used in England. If we spoke the same, your friend would be mate, instead of a couch you’d sit on a chesterfield, you’d wear a jumper in the winter vs a sweater and you’d be eating crisps from McDonalds instead of French fries. But each area or local culture is apt to develop a series of words that have meaning for them. Therefore in London, England, British Cockney – speak is quite incomprehensible to the rest of us, yet is a well-known way for certain British people to speak English. In the US, people in the South have a dialect not spoken in Brooklyn, but in Brooklyn the use of some words is not shared by those in California, etc.
    When you talk, do you use the same words with your family as you would with your boss or when giving a presentation? Highly unlikely that you use formal language with your parents or kids. Yet, both ways of talking are perfectly good American English. When kids are on the playground, they use words understood by their group of friends. When they write an essay for the teacher, it is likely to contain quite a different set of descriptive words.
    ‘Homegirl’ and ‘look like’ are dialectic words/phrases used by some people. Would you have preferred “The central image presentation resembles a figure clutching an infant child, followed by ascension to airborne.” I doubt you would enjoy such a description. The writer was not making a formal presentation directed at you. They were making a comment, likely to a friend, but, due to the humor, the post became viral. English is an evolving language. We no longer speak the same way Americans did 100 years ago, and in the future, it ‘look like’ we may shorten our words, too.

  3. A few weeks ago I came across a Twitter message from someone who wrote “u finna go sumwear?” He/she/it/whatever (delete whichever does not suit you) was trying to ask if someone was thinking of going somewhere.

    I assumed that the writer had some form of learning difficulty until I read some of the replies to the message. Seven or eight of them, all from different people, contained words such as ‘gon’ (going), ‘geden’ (getting), ‘fest’ (?), and ‘doh’ (dough, meaning money).

    Words such as they’re, there, and their all now appear to have the same meaning, as do where, wear, were, and ware. Which witch is which can also be confusing, and more and moor people appear to be unable to differentiate between your, your, and you’re.

    Languages evolve, but they do so slowly. But this ‘newspeak’, as I have seen it described, was seldom encountered ten years ago – and even then anyone who used it on an Internet forum would be corrected by educated people.

    Times, they are a’changing – and too fast for my liking.

    Look like I gonna haveta learn a new langwige.


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