Friday, August 29, 2008

Old School

Dan and I had a short conversation about the phrase "Old-School" the other night. First we discussed the spelling. We decided it should be hyphenated as opposed to being separated into two distinct words or squished together into one.
We also discussed the meaning of "Old-School." Dan started out by offering that it meant "Old-fashioned" but I suggested that it is not an exact synonym for "Old-fashioned" since "Old-School" usually refers to something in recent history (within the decade) that is only outdated because of seasonal changes or newer fashions.
My reason for mentioning our "old-school" conversation is this: I usually detest slang that is fabricated for the sake of making up a new "cool" word or phrase. Today, many people say things like "Dude, that's bangin'!" or "No 'diggity!" or "Fo' Shizzle!" or "Y'all been jeepin' behind my back?" or "Oh, snap!" These words and phrases make no sense. These people are not Shakespeare creating words because there isn't a word to describe what he means, they are a bunch of hooligans who are trying to pervert the English language and confuse every foreign tourist in America. (The language is hard enough as it is, people! Give those poor foreigners a brake.) Most of this dumb slang goes out as fast as it comes in, but I think "Old-School" has staying power. First of all, it has no synonyms. Secondly, it describes a state of being that needed a description. Thirdly, it is versatile. Old-School can be a good thing or a bad thing. Examples: "That skateboard is old-school, where did you get it?" (This shows awe and respect for the older model skateboard that is rare and no longer available.) "That song is old-school, turn it off." (This shows annoyance and dislike for a song that is a little older and a little played out.)

Short story long... we approve of the phrase "Old-School." That is all.


David said...

I love these kinds of entries. Fo' shizzle.

Logan said...

I sometimes struggle with "old-school" BECAUSE of the fact that it can be positive or negative. It tends to leave me perplexed about how someone feels about something. "Are you telling me that's old school because it's out of style or because it's retro and cool?" That's generally how I walk away from an "old-school" encounter.