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Re: [Czechlist] Sysel sysli, but what does ground squirrel do?

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  • Martin Janda
    And what s the important part of the tagline? Is that an ad for a bank? I mean, do you need to keep the savings/not savings part or just any animal and any
    Message 1 of 37 , Feb 28, 2012
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      And what's the important part of the tagline? Is that an ad for a bank?
      I mean, do you need to keep the savings/not savings part or just any
      animal and any activity will do as long as the pun is there?

      To put it simple: what's the context please?

      Martin



      Dne 28.2.2012 10:39, Matej Klimes napsal(a):
      > We say that someone or something
      >
      > SYSLI' (a verb)
      >
      > It comes from the ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus), also known as
      > the European
      > souslik, which is SYSEL in Czech and supposedly gathers food
      > obsessively for the winter, in its burrow and/or its cheeks (alth' the
      > cheeks might be more of a case of KREC^KOVA'NI, i.e. a hamster stuffing
      > his cheeks to the point of bursting)...
      >
      > Enough of biology, not sure if the actual animals do or don't (I know
      > hamsters do, ground squirrels just eat as much as they can and then
      > hibernate), but we use syslit for humans - if someone's greedy, or has
      > a habit of collecting unnecessary things that may come in handy, or has
      > excessive provisions at home at all times, or takes away all freebie
      > things that are on offer somewhere, etc.. we say they 'sysli' this or
      > that
      >
      > I don't suppose there's an English word for the animals doing this that
      > also works for humans (which would ideally contain the name of the
      > animal, or at least type of animal in it)???
      >
      > I need to translate a wordplay [Sysel ktery nesysli]
      >
      > Thanks for any pointers
      >
      > Matej
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
    • James Kirchner
      I wonder where they dug up this term vocal fry , since linguists have used the term creaky voice (with the accent on creaky ) for many decades when
      Message 37 of 37 , Mar 9, 2012
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        I wonder where they dug up this term "vocal fry", since linguists have used the term "creaky voice" (with the accent on "creaky") for many decades when describing modes of speech in Southeast Asian languages, among others, and it's more descriptive.

        It's no surprise that men throw "like" into their speech more than women, because that was a mark of beatnik speech in the 1950s and early 1960s, or at least imitations of it. Watch an old Dobie Gillis episode, if you ever have the chance, and one of the aspects of the character Maynard G. Krebs's speech that marks him as a beatnik is his constant insertion of "like" into every sentence.

        I think creaky voice is more common in comedians' imitations of Bill Clinton than in his own speech. I don't ever remember hearing him or Bush use it, but maybe I'm wrong.

        It's interesting that you said that where you grew up the "bruiser girls" didn't pick up Valley speech. There is something special about Detroit, where I live, because it is almost always completely bypassed by these speech fads. It was the same with even earlier ones. The only thing I can think is that imitating the speech of people on TV is stigmatized here among teenagers, and in fact, I can remember certain kids being ridiculed when I was a teenager for sounding like people on TV. Thus, some of the 1960s slang was never used here, and I never heard any full-blown Valley speech here. The only explanation I can think of is that blue-collar folks are resistant to what anybody wants them to do, unless they want to do it.

        Jamie

        On Mar 9, 2012, at 4:58 AM, Liz wrote:

        > Hi Matej,
        >
        > I don't think the article referred to Australian girls per se, but an Australian style of speech. The article and pocast also refer to vocal fry among upper-class English males as a way of communicating social standing. I'm not sure how it made the leap to the San Fernando valley - perhaps some interviews with David Bowie (who had a very creaky voice in the 70s) or other pop stars? This was the very beginning of the MTV era...
        >
        > I remember creaky voice / valley speak being like a fashion accessory. The "preppie" girls who wore pink alligator shirts (this was the 80s) laid it on thick; it was absolutely absent from the "bruiser" girls who smoked and took shop. So the idea of valley speak as a tool for denoting social standing among teens - like an alligator on a shirt - is not too far fetched.
        >
        > The other interesting point I found in the article was the implicit sexism in views regarding creaky voice/Valley speak. When women use creaky voice, it "sounds stupid". When Presidents Clinton or Bush use it, it - doesn't. The article also cites a study that found men use "like" as a flavoring word more often than women ("like" being a very important element in valley speak).
        >
        > Cheers
        >
        > - Liz
        >
        > --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "Matej Klimes" <mklimes@...> wrote:
        >>
        >> Interesting twist.... how does something so complicated (i mean the
        >> origin of the name) get into common usage and culture and become a
        >> household word?... and what about those Australian girls the article
        >> claimed had something to do with this? Was there a big immigration wave
        >> from Oz to San Fernando Valley in the 80's?
        >>
        >> M
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >> ------ Original Message ------
        >> From: "James Kirchner" <czechlist@...>
        >> To: czechlist@...
        >> Sent: 8.3.2012 13:48:31
        >> Subject: Re: [Czechlist] CHAT: creaky voice revisited
        >>> It's called Valley speech, even though it was present nationwide,
        >>> because in the 1980s Frank Zappa released a record called "Valley
        >>> Girl" that featured his daughter imitating it. It was deemed to be
        >>> characteristic of the speech of teenage girls who hung around shopping
        >>> malls in the San Fernando Valley in California.
        >>>
        >>> There is something different about Michigan, where I live, because
        >>> those speech trends never fully penetrate here. Instead of "Valley
        >>> speech" we had a softer version that I called "a Canadian with a piece
        >>> of hard candy on her tongue".
        >>>
        >>> Jamie
        >>>
        >>> On Mar 8, 2012, at 7:41 AM, Matej Klimes wrote:
        >>>
        >>>> Just out of interest, which Valley is this/why is it called Valley
        >>>> speech and how did the Ozzies who supposedly started this got there
        >>> in
        >>>> such numbers??
        >>>>
        >>>> M
        >>>> ------ Original Message ------
        >>>> From: "James Kirchner" <czechlist@...>
        >>>> To: czechlist@...
        >>>> Sent: 8.3.2012 13:26:22
        >>>> Subject: Re: [Czechlist] CHAT: creaky voice revisited
        >>>>> What I've observed is that young women lose these vocal
        >>>>> characteristics within a year after they get their first serious
        >>> job.
        >>>>> They can't be taken seriously if they don't.
        >>>>>
        >>>>> Once I saw a news report about some very grave, tragic event that
        >>> was
        >>>>> recounted by a news reporter, probably in her mid-20s, who had not
        >>>>> lost her Valley speech. She was dead serious, but the report
        >>> sounded
        >>>>> like a satire due to the way she was speaking. Even the news
        >>> anchors
        >>>>> reacted to it.
        >>>>>
        >>>>> If you study theoretical linguistics at a university (as I did),
        >>> you
        >>>>> find that there's a phenomenon among the professors where, instead
        >>> of
        >>>>> merely conveying a mentality of non-prescriptivism, they become
        >>>>> boosters for the speech of whatever their favorite stigmatized
        >>> mascot
        >>>>> group is. With delight, they regularly point out random nuggets of
        >>>>> language from these groups that have entered the mainstream. It's
        >>>>> patronizing in the opposite direction, and they don't apply it to
        >>>>> groups they don't favor. For example, I regularly saw professors
        >>>>> celebrating bits of black speech that had entered the mainstream
        >>>>> (which is annoying, because black speech has ALWAYS influenced the
        >>>>> mainstream), but I never once saw them pleased when something from
        >>>>> hillbilly speech went mainstream.
        >>>>>
        >>>>> Jamie
        >>>>>
        >>>>> On Mar 8, 2012, at 6:27 AM, Melvyn wrote:
        >>>>>
        >>>>>>
        >>>>>> Like.
        >>>>>>
        >>>>>> M.
        >>>>>>
        >>>>>> --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "Liz" <spacils@> wrote:
        >>>>>>>
        >>>>>>> Today's New York Times writes:
        >>>>>>>
        >>>>>>> From Valley Girls to the Kardashians, young women have long been
        >>>>> mocked for the way they talk.
        >>>>>>>
        >>>>>>> Whether it be uptalk (pronouncing statements as if they were
        >>>>> questions? Like this?), creating slang words like "bitchin'" and
        >>>>> "ridic," or the incessant use of "like" as a conversation filler,
        >>>>> vocal trends associated with young women are often seen as markers
        >>> of
        >>>>> immaturity or even stupidity.
        >>>>>>>
        >>>>>>> Right?
        >>>>>>>
        >>>>>>> But linguists ? many of whom once promoted theories consistent
        >>> with
        >>>>> that attitude ? now say such thinking is outmoded. Girls and women
        >>> in
        >>>>> their teens and 20s deserve credit for pioneering vocal trends and
        >>>>> popular slang, they say, adding that young women use these
        >>>>> embellishments in much more sophisticated ways than people tend to
        >>>>> realize.
        >>>>>>>
        >>>>>>> Full article and a Science Times podcast:
        >>>>>>> http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/science/young-women-often-trendsetters-in-vocal-patterns.html?_r=1
        >>>>>>>
        >>>>>>
        >>>>>>
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        >>>>>
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        >>>>>
        >>>>>
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        >>>>
        >>>> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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