Folk Speech

Family Speech/Vernacular:

“The family has always prided itself on staying right up to date with vernacular.  For example, we were referring to each other as “ho” and “bitch” five years ago, and things such as “tool” and “freak” today.”

My Dad has always been very easygoing in the way that he speaks to my siblings and me.  His use of the vernacular and “hip” terms seems to be a result of a combination of many desires: to be humorous, to get along with the youth in the family, and to seem up-to-date with things that are new and “in.”

As he described, a couple years ago my Dad started using phrases such as “ho” and “bitch” in a joking tone in order to mock me, my sister, and the media that we consistently started entertaining ourselves with.  As the years have progressed, he still uses these particular terms, but has also expanded his vernacular vocabulary into using terms such as “tool” and “freak” as they became increasing popular, as well.

This is a tradition/habit of my Dad’s that is always changing and expanding.  While he learns more and more slang phrases that are used by youth today, he also changes around his own uses of these words and the contexts in which he uses them.  Not only does he call members of the family some of these names as a joke, but he also refers to other people, often strangers, with these names under his breath and matches the words with various vocal tones to create different effects every time he makes a statement involving the described vernacular.  One aspect of this kind of humor that proves to be most amusing is the fact that one wouldn’t expect a 64-year-old man to be saying these things, and often the simple inclusion of a word here and there in his commentaries provokes a surprised reaction.

As I stated above, I think this tradition stems from a variety of factors.  My Dad has a very funny and blunt sense of humor that is also relatable to not only friends of his, but people from various generations, including my own.  It is clear that he prides himself in his humor and his ability to get along so easily with the youth in the family by using such crude humor.  The reason that his use of the vernacular became so popular over the last couple years is for a couple reasons.  First of all, our society has never before witnessed the creation of such a wide variety of slang to choose from, and the selection is almost irresistible to a grown man with a healthy sense of humor.  Secondly, as I, the youngest child, grew older and developed my own sense of humor, my Dad probably became far more comfortable with talking in such a crude manner in front of the family since parental control no longer existed in this sense.  Though I am not sure, and even doubtful, as to how many other parents use this kind of humor and language, it is clear from observing my dad that the vernacular in our media today not only affects youth, but older generations trying to keep up, as well.

Annotiations: The words listed above, along with another great variety of words, can be found on the popular website