I'm sure there are other little things I routinely say or do that make my friends and co-workers want to strangle me. It would probably take a small miracle for any of us to get through a day without inadvertently annoying the hell out of somebody.
The debates are all about drawing a line in the sand: a line of culture and merit and standards. This is all well and good until you realize that this line is constantly being redrawn, rubbed out, revisited.
What I have not accepted is that not only do I not look the "look," I no longer talk the "talk." I am an outsider, a foreigner who does not understand or use the language of the young, hip and beautiful.
I remember picking up my daughter at middle school one afternoon years ago and watching the kids, both boys and girls, spill out of the front doors wearing rubber bracelets and waving shiny bumper stickers with "Save the TaTas" emblazoned on them.
When we deliberately or inadvertently support our children's use of slang, it's as if we tell them: Yes, there is something gross or silly or ugly about that body part. Don't ever call it by its real name.
For me, slang is at the social interface of language. Slang words aren't linguistically different from other words, except that they keep on moving. It is my considered opinion that slang is a bag of snakes.
Hollywood has a vernacular all its own. Among the town's most popular pieces of parlance is "I don't disagree." But is it an affirmation worth a damn or is it just another equivocation on the road to development hell?