Thursday, March 07, 2013

Oh my god, like...

In 1982, Zappa came out with the song "Valley Girl," which completely (totally!) nailed the idiocy of Cali-speak. The song caught on nationwide with the media (pre today's "going viral"), with everybody talking about it, mocking the intonations and slang. Which in the few years following led, thankfully, to the fading out of the dialect. (Out of embarrassment, I hope, because once the spotlight was on them, the speakers realized they sounded so stupid.) Here's the 1982 song (with accompanying images by a YouTuber in 2012):



I mention all this now because for the past couple of years, "Valley/Cali-speak" has unfortunately been making a comeback, this time all over the place...even among the young hipster-scruffs in Austin, Texas. In the '80s, the same Austin drop-outs would have cut out their tongues rather than being caught talking in this dumb-Valley/Cali girl way.

Today, though, I can't go one block without hearing the same intonations so deservedly mocked 30 years ago. Last week, for example, a couple of 19-ish scruffy punk chicks with guitars got on the bus, sat behind me, and then proceeded to talk tediously like Kardashian SoCal socialites for the 20 minutes that I was on the ride with them: "Oh my god, [name of random band] is so, like, 2010!"

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