Well, I've got to finish this 6-8 pager for Anthropology of Linguistics, in which I've focused on the speech patterns of Myself, Lindsay, Tammy, and Sherry, so help me God.

On that note, if any of you girls have any last minute thoughts or rememberances of certain linguisitic patterns that seem to keep popping up, or ever any discussions we've had that really sit in your mind, do tell me. More examples are better than fewer, that's my motto. The list I have so far is:

-Using "I/you/he/she/[name] win[s]!" "Sucks/lose/wins at life" "My life hurts" "making the baby Jesus cry" "you WENT there"
-talking in the first person for a 3rd person i.e. "and he was like 'I win!'"
-putting nouns together = comic gold i.e. "brain-thought"
-fangirl/internet speak, including: is love, crack, OTP (LMNOTP, anyone? ^_^) TEH sex
-using "what" instead of "that"
-"like/sort of/ya know"= commitment
-racial/negative slurs for each other as gag: spic, white trash, jappy mcnipnip, butchy mcbulldyke, idiot savant etc
-catchphrases in other languages, in Spanish, Gaelic, Italian, German: "Tammy fior/Hace frio/Fa freddo" (damnit, Lindsay, how do you spell all that gaelic we use! helps!) "Me Gusta!" "Nein!" "Anch'io" "POR QUE! (always in capitals btw) "Mi maith laom" (trans. plz?)
-genitals plural = bad for Sherry i.e. "balls"...however, "tits" is good.
-The mentioning of embarrassing but funny stories/memories as bookmarked with "I blocked that" or "Never speak of this again", even though they WILL come up again, and sometimes will be brought up by the person who demanded the memories must never be talked of again (I feel like this is mainly in my case, but I do see us trying to control the discussion of uncomfie/embarrassing things by demanding this. It's like, by saying that before and after, it makes it allowable to laugh over it in the moment)
-lots of double negatives
-mimicry of accents/voice actors/characters i.e. Bobcat Goldthwait, South Park John Travolta (OMIGAWD!), Mickey Mouse "Aha, you could get killed!" which snowballs into more WILDLY INAPPROPRIATE things to say as the Mouse. There seems to be an importance of saying odd, unexpected things and in certain voices i.e. "you gonna get RAPED!", or yiddish catch phrases
-the dramatic NO!, and talking about our lives in terms of movie narrative: ticking plot clocks, quests, naming ourselves the archetypes i.e. Lindsay=villain, I=sidekick/comic relief
-WE DISCUSS LANGUAGE. We are reflexive of what we say. Mainly I think it's cause Lindsay and I have/are taking classes about language, so it comes up, we are/being taught to think about language.
-when we are together, we don't allow time for silence. SOMEONE is always jumping in, the language pattern is hectic, crazy, jumbled up, we interrupt violently, energy is up, big "eureka!" inside joke creating moments...and I think that's how we are able to come up with things like dropkick housing and Jesus lamb of goats eating our handbaskets to hell.
-use of text messaging/AIM

So, I think I've got a pretty sweet 6-8 pager from this list. But any other observations are appreciated.

And, I leave the three of you with this thought, if you want to add your two cents: think about how language challenges YOUR identity, what people say about you, what we say about eachother, how we talk to each other and talk back in return. How do we DO friendship through our way of speaking? I've got my own ideas, but if you blighters think of something else, I could rock that.

May Jesus Lamb of Goats be with you always, eating the devil's handbaskets and saving us all. AMEN.
I have such an insane amount of reading/drawing/writing to do in order to catch up in my studies, I'm being to contemplate the pros of committing seppuku with my pencil or this keyboard. Or with all these computer wires.

But instead, I'm wasting time, illustrating one of my stories. Specifically, the cover of one. One might think, "But Nella, shouldn't you FINISH a book before you start illustrating the cover for it?", but I just laugh and continue my procrastinating way of doing things without actually getting anything DONE.

To the Library! In the hopes I might actually GET SHIT DONE!!
I am not allowed to draw or write or romp through the fields of my imagination until I have studied for Italian.


Eh. I have roughly 12 hours in which to finish this damned Disney/Miyzaki paper. Like Lindsay, I have to come up with a clever title for my comparison of Mononoke and Pocahontas, but my brain isn't quite up to clever title thinking yet. All I keep doing is repeating to myself that it's ONLY a 7 page paper, and that's one 3.5 pages single spaced. Only 3.5 pages...

I am so over this SCHOOL stuff.

And [livejournal.com profile] desperatefans is my new crack.
The Italian oral exam was SMOTE!


Apr. 26th, 2005 10:02 pm
God, I really need to think about what I'm going to say tomorrow for my Italian Oral Exam, but I'm SOOO in the blank right now. The initial plan was to go in and just blather on and on about something pointless for the full 5 minutes and not give Gabriella a chance to ask me any questions. But DAMN am I not in an Italian-speaking frame of mind. You know, when you're sitting around, doing nothing but translating random lines of conversation in your head?

Maybe I'll just go back to one of my plans and try to explain the Discworld series to her. It's the only thing I've really been thinking about lately. Or maybe about how I've been accepted to the Florence program and I'm really excited about it, with room for some bad jokes in Italian about Italian bureaucracy. But that's all future tense, unless I mention how I want to go to Vizzini, and then I could blather on about the stories my aunt told me about Vizzini. I could probably get some historical past tense in there then, upping my Oral points by using something we just learned.

Or maybe I'll just sit here staring at the computer scene and dread the coming morn. Which is always a plan, albeit not a very good one.

I wish I was feeling a bit cleverer this week.
EDIT: Fix some grammer and some wording at 8 pm...whatcha think?

I got into the NYU study abroad all right, but now I want to get this application for the Acton scholarship done, and I just typed up this essay.

This is were you come in. This is the one time I'm going to beg comments from youse guys. I need you to tell me if it works with the essay requirement. It's all I got. Tell me if it works and if I've got to fix it.

BUT.......I need your opinions by the 14th. As in, tomorrow. Seriously. I just got accepted to the program yesterday and I found out about this scholarship today. I'm working on a REALLY tight deadline, so give a girl a hand.

For your consideration, the essay topic:

As New Yorkers, cultural exchange is a part of our everyday lives. For example, you might hear 5 languages on a 10-minute ride on the subway. Tell the story of a cross-cultural expreience you've had in New York City, and describe how it relates to your interest in study abroad."

And, my Response:

(A/N: YES, I'm adopted. I know that. I'm not really Sicilian. But that's what application essay are all about: fudging facts, writing really fucking well, and having a SHIT LOAD OF DRAMA!! SO...I'm Sicilian. Mi Mangi. Also, this was written between the time of 4am to 536 am. Eh...sudden deadlines are a bitch.)

Antonella Inserra

Desperate for an informant, and figuring I could kill two birds at once in the process, last semester I interviewed my Aunt Angela for my final paper in "Human Cultures and Society". The topic was Immigration, a topic that was nothing new to me. Like many others in this city, my parents are immigrants, my family an immigrant family. Our roots are in Sicily.

As American-born, I am hungry for stories of life in Sicily. How fortunate then, that I could learn about my own family while working on my final paper.

I visited my Aunt Angela in Brooklyn--her apartment fits both her and her sister, Giovanna comfortably. Their social security check from Italy for their past years in teaching pays the bills. Unlike my grandmother, they stayed too long in Italy to consider getting an American citizenship. They moved here to be near the family, but they will not betray Italy like that.

The interview lasted three hours. Having taken three semesters' worth of Italian, I tried to conduct the interview in "Eng-talian" in order to help things along. Things were going swimmingly, until my parents and my grandmother stopped by the apartment to see if I was finished.

I tried to include my grandmother into the discussion, to get a slightly different perspective, but something was wrong. Even with my "Eng-talian" there was still a language barrier. Unlike Angela, my grandmother didn't go to a university; because of that, she speaks more Sicilian than Italian.

For two areas so close together, you would think the languages would be vaguely similar. But Sicilian has more in common with Greek, Arabic, African and Spanish than just Italian. Even Southern Italian is grammatically different, making comprehension difficult.

It is for this very reason that Sicilian is dying. It is not the language of the industrial, prosperous Northern Italy. It's provincial, so it is abandoned in schools. As an anthropology major, I can recognize this loss of cultural linguistic nuance as common--but as I tried to speak with my grandmother, it saddened me.

We stand at the greatest cultural meld in all of history: we argue that America is more a "salad bowl" of culture, where immigrants try to incorporate their traditions into their new lives instead of melting into American society. But Europe, from an American viewpoint, is quickly becoming the melting pot. In applying to NYU, I was asked on the form if I was black, Hispanic, Native American, Caucasian, or other. This is what a European heritage as been boiled down to: Caucasian. Much like Hispanic is used to describe all of South and Mezzo America, a single word had come to represent not just white America, but all of Europe.

I am Sicilian-American--I feel I can claim this without question. My parents were born in Sicily after all. And yet countries and regions like Sicily, Albania, Greece, and Russia: countries traditionally viewed as "other", as "inferior", are now "Caucasian". But as I look around New York City, I see people unwilling to just melt into Caucasian--or whatever other term used to categorize them--whether they be Russians, Jews, Italians, Puerto Ricans, Koreans or Greeks. In this city, I see the world's largest Caribbean Diaspora. In this city, I pass by "Chinatown" every day while riding the NYU bus to class. And yet "The Caribbean" is a region, "Asia" is a continent, and these lands do not hold a single culture--something a tourist might gloss over, but a New Yorker is reminded of as they walk these streets. In this city I see people who know that their culture is worth more than a single word on a college application.

As a daughter of Italian immigrants, I want to see Italy. I want to get that much closer to the country that has been at the center of my family for so long. As an anthropology major, however, I want to find in Europe what I find here, in this city. I want to explore Europe and find its' cultural niches before Europe becomes the amorphous "Caucasian". I don't want the communities of New York to be my only example of Europe as it was. I want to see Europe as it is now, before it is gone forever.

December 2010

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