Writing Assignment II - Writing Assignment II Brittain...

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Writing Assignment II Brittain Gilliland The first section of Chapter Three in Wolfram and Shilling-Estes’ book discusses lexical differences in dialect. It explains some of the ways in which new items are added to the lexicon. In the case of the freestyle rap club in the “Do You Speak American” video, many of the items are a result of meaning shift. For example, the word ill originally was an adjective meaning ailing. On the streets it came to mean something of good quality, something exceptional, something fun, etc. “Ill” basically took on meanings that were the exact opposite of the original one. Similarly, meaning changes have occurred with the words “sick”, “dope”, and “fly”. In an article by some linguist I read recently it discussed how the word “phat” (synonymous with “cool”) was an acronym made from either “Pretty Hot and Tempting” or “Pretty Hips and Thighs”, depending on whom you ask. Slang, the subject of the next section of the book, seems to be largely dealing with
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Writing Assignment II - Writing Assignment II Brittain...

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