18 February 2015

Trends in Names and Metaphors

* When I was growing up, flipping burgers was the metaphorical shit job.  But, in several recent books I've read, all involving events playing out in California, working in a "taco shack" has displaced burger flipping as the cultural reference conveying the same idea.

* It appears to be "a thing" in Denver to christen your automobile with a proper name, e.g. "Fred", at least among teenagers getting their first vehicles.  Gender varies based upon the young owner's preferences and the feel of the vehicle.  Ships and boats, of course, are almost always named and generally female.  Nantucket residents overwhelmingly like to name their houses, perhaps a spillover of their boat naming tendencies; in Colorado, however, this practice seems to be largely restricted to ranches and larger homes owned by Hispanic families.

* There is a great deal of temporal and regional variation in nicknaming.  In Denver, while shortened names, e.g. "Fred" rather than "Fredrick" are common, descriptive nicknames, e.g. "Boots" for someone who wears trademark boots, or "Technical" for a nerd, seem rather less common in subcultures that I am in contact with than at many other times and places.  Descriptive nicknames seem to be common, for example, in the military and in boarding schools.

1 comment:

andrew said...

The February 19, 2015 episode of the newspaper comic strip Funky Winkerbean, set in Ohio, has also picked up on the Taco meme.