Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Unfortunate Requirements of Newspaper Writing

The LA Times has a fun and relatively comprehensive (given the space limitations) rundown of the slang in Mexico, from guey to no manches. Of course, being a newspaper piece, competing takes on the issue had to be squeezed in, hence the following:
Some Mexicans worry about a proliferating usage of slang terms once considered too coarse for common use. They blame the looser talk on television and radio, as well as social changes that have given Mexican women equal access to colloquialisms, even raunchy ones.

"A narco, a rube and a yuppie all speak alike," said commentator Guadalupe Loaeza, who said she has been shocked by the crude words that sometimes pepper the e-mail she receives.

"There's a laxity of language that I would say is almost offensive," Loaeza said. "We've gone too far to the other side."
This story is basically a written form of a conversation between a foreigner who knows Mexico really well and is consciously attuned to the idiosyncrasies of certain phrases in a way that only a foreigner usually can be (because a native just learns them organically, without stopping to think, Wow, that's weird, why do I call my best friend "motherfucker"?), and a new arrival. It's an enjoyable conversation for both sides, and a fun topic to read about if you have an interest in a country. But at no point do I ask myself during that conversation, Hmmm, are there scolds who dislike all this?

And, as always, the definitive online source for Mexican slang is Effective Swearing in DF.

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