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CHAT Re: eng and veg (was: LCC2: Meeting our Community)

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Thursday, July 19, 2007, 14:50
Assorted responses to noone in particular:

My guess is that the US usage of "veg out" derives ultimately from the
medical condition known as "vegetative state". AFAIK, that phrase has come
into existence only within the last 30-40 years-- before that, technology
didn't exist to keep such people alive for very long periods of time.  Then
black humor came up with e.g. "the brain surgeon goofed, and Mr. X is now a
vegetable". Then, as so often happens, the "out" was dropped by lazy or
impatient teenagers-- perhaps recently, an IM-ing shortcut??

Lurking behind it all, probably, is the general American disdain for
vegetables. Since the appearance of Julia Child's first cookbook in 1961,
they've been getting a little more respect, however; but even before that
their treatment depended on the individual cook. My dear grandmother never
reduced them to grey-green mush.

British "X and two veg" IMO is purely culinary in origin, referring to the
make-up of a typical dinner. If they now use "veg (out)" in the other sense,
they got it from us.

"veg" is clearly to be pronounced [vEdZ], and needs no remedial spelling,
since it is clearly a truncation based on the written form. Similarly with
"soc" [soUS] for "sociology"-- though in the 50s, Harvard offered a new
course popularly called Soc Rel ["sAk'rEl] (Social Relations) which was
sociology (then a new-ish academic field, and at that time not highly
regarded) in disguise.

My friend from Texas told me that in his high school (again in the 50s)
there were two main cliques-- the "soshes" (for socials) and "kickers"
(country kids with cow manure on their boots, hence "sh*tkickers"). But I

I hear various pronunciations of the current "vegan", either ['vig@n] or
['veIgan] (but they're from outer space aren't they?) or what I consider
correct, ['vEdZ@n], in view of its origin.

As for "engelang", maybe the suggested "syslang" would be better? "englang"
is right out, too easily confused visually with the country of almost the
same name.

pilami, macakaçindi timba-timbani.
I think I've nattered on quite enough. :-))))))))))))))))


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>