These are a few of my favorite things

This response to the Campbell Brown post, got me thinking:

"Catches wreck"? You're just making slang up now.

A few years back, when I had a corporate job in journalism, a buddy of mine with a similar gig had a great idea for a joke--we'd just start saying niggardly around all our coworkers and watch them freak out. Then when they gave us uncomfortable/confused looks, we'd say, "I'm saying, I'm black. I can say niggardly!" Hilarious in concept, but I didn't have the stones to pull it off. I tell that story as way of saying this--despite my many, many typos, I'm a language freak. Arguably the greatest piece of info Kenyatta ever passed on to me was the fact that a flock of ravens is called "An unkindness of ravens." I thought that was such an evocative phrase.

I basically believe in the democracy of words, that truly great turns of phrases don't come from eggheads (like me) but from people out in the world, living life and looking for economic ways to express themselves. If you catch me using what people commonly refer to as "slang," it's not to shut anyone out, or confuse people--it's because I like the language. Coming from hip-hop and traditional poetry--and also just living as a minority in the country--I've kinda gotten used to not always knowing what people mean. In fact, I relish. It took me two years to understand what Buckshot meant when he said, "I'm Swayze." But once I figured it out, it was awesome. When I was in college, one of my favorite poems was by this cat Larry Neal. It was called "A Jive Eschatology." I almost fell out over the title alone. Of course later I realized it was kinda racist. And sexist. And antisemitic. Oh well--the title still pwns!!

Anyway, my point is that you'll probably read me going all kinds of ways with the words. Don't freak out, just turn it over in your head a bit. Or you can cheat and check out Urban Dictionary. Most importantly understand that I'm a blogger second--and  a failed poet first.