Modern Living: Right On Is Off And Other Hiplingua News

Even in this age of instant obsolescence, fashionable slang wears out faster than most commodities. What is very lively in Kansas City today may brand a user as quaint in Manhattan or the Bay Area. It thus becomes periodically necessary, as French Poet Stéphane Mallarmé once suggested, donner un sens plus pur aux mots de la tribu —to purify the dialect of the tribe.

Consider, for example, the phrases "doing your thing," "telling it like it is," or even "where it's at." Fresh not long ago, they are now unspeakable for those who would...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!