Slippery Slopes of Slang

Language is weird.  You think you know a language, predictable and appropriately complicated, when all of the sudden, slang emerges.  Coming into fashion and going out within just a few years, it makes me laugh to see the expressions we use, abuse, and discard.  Gone are the days of swell and groovy.  We now abbreviate everything (my sarcastic thanks to whoever-invented-text-messages).  Or we work “like a boss” or “like a beast.”  Yet, you should never say your boss is a beast, unless he happens to live in a shining castle and you’ve been transformed into a teapot or some other such household cookware.  In that case, your boss is The Beast.

One recent addition to slang boggling my English-loving mind is “fangirl.”  Splattered all over Facebook, this label usually refers to an extreme devotee of Doctor Who, Sherlock, or Downton Abbey.  What exactly is a fangirl?  If it’s a girl who is a fan of something, why does she insist on gender-specific label?  “Fan” is simpler and so is “fanatic.”  And even more unusual than the noun are the adjectival and adverbial forms.  “Sorry, I’m having a fangirl moment.”  Or “Stop fangirling over Orlando Bloom.”

Fangirling over Orlando Bloom?  Definitely not on my to-do list.

If you want to be creative, try the labels Whovian, Sherlockian, Merlinian, Downtonites  (Don’t know how you label yourself as a Psych fan.  “Psychos” is not the proper label. )

What about fanboys?  Don’t they have rights in this too?  Are sophomore fraternities fanboying over the latest Marvel movie or DC adaptation?  Perhaps.  But they don’t call themselves “fanboys.”

So I shake my head bewildered at the latest development in English slang and hope that the fangirling dies down some time soon.

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