Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pervasive Word Choices

Every once and again I hear a word that I want to incorporate more frequently into my own vocabulary.  These aren't always terribly high falutin' words, just ones that I like the phonetics of. For example, recently, I heard a speaker use the word pervasive.

Great word.  Slides out of the mouth like velvet.  And, it's a word that isn't so specialized in meaning that it couldn't be inelegantly integrated into everyday language, especially in class.  But, it's a hard thing to mix up one's own bag of linguistic resources; habits are habits for a reason.

On the other hand, sometimes certain words find their way into my speech and quickly create a groove that I can't shake.  The other day, when I was ruminating on the dearth of pervasives in my speech,  I was teaching about the ways that language can craft a certain kind of social identity.  During this discussion, I use examples from John Connor's speech in Terminator 2 (ultimately getting at Mock Spanish).  In the excerpt, Connor uses the word, "dickwad."

You know where I'm going with this.  During the scant 50 minutes of this class session, I let slip the word dickwad four times...you might say the presence of dickwad was pervasive.

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