Archive for the ‘Address terms’ Category

Tumble Inn, Stan

August 14, 2014

Today’s Zippy:

(#1)

There’s the diner, and there’s the address term Stan.

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boss

April 14, 2013

Discussion of a brief note I posted here a couple of days ago, on boss as an address term, brings up two points; the need to clarify what kind of address term is at issue in this case; and the difficulty of gauging the sociolinguistic status of some usage, when all you have to go on is your own experience.

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Ducati and Ares

April 12, 2013

(Following up on an account of the gay porn flick Close Up on AZBlogX, a posting about the first scene of the film, involving Trenton Ducati and Jessy Ares — in part about the use of language in this encounter and in part about the the assignment of roles — what I’ve called b vs. t — in this encounter. This is a close call: usually my postings analyzing the action in porn flicks go on AZBlogX, but in this case I thought there might be enough language-related stuff to put it on this blog. You should understand that there’s a lot of plainly described gay sex in this posting, though no photos — they’re already on AZBlogX — so you might want to pass.)

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Brief notice: boss 4/12/13

April 12, 2013

For some time now, I’ve noticed a pattern of address term usage in local restaurants and cafes (three of them): I am addressed by servers and other employees there as boss. The speakers are all Hispanic men, younger than me (I’ve never gotten boss from anyone else; I don’t have employees of my own); and of course it’s crucial that I’m male; and it might be relevant that I’m a regular customer in all three places; and it might be relevant that the atmosphere of all three places is informal. (Some of these men sometimes address me as Arnold, but other times as boss.)

I assume that this is a resolution of a puzzle in social relations: sir would be the standard address term in service contexts, but seems far too formal and distancing given the social situation in these three places; and Arnold might seem too intimate on some occasions; so what to use instead?

What I don’t know is where boss (said with a friendly, even jocular tone) comes from. And why just Hispanic men? (Non-Hispanic and female servers seem always to opt for first names in such places; if they don’t know them already, they find them out and then memorize them.)

(Address terms are a long-standing interest of mine. Discussion of pal and sport here, boy here, and medical address terms here.)

Data points: address terms 11/17/10

November 17, 2010

Two address terms that caught my ear recently because they struck me as no longer widely in use:

(1) pal: in an episode of the 50s tv serial Tom Corbett, Space Cadet (Youtube for this episode here, Tom Corbett website here), one of the crew members to another, on the radio: “Ok, pal, she’s all yours” (referring to the next rocket firing).

(2) sport: in one episode of the gay porn film Arcade on Route 9 (Joe Gage for Titan Media) an older trucker (Ken Mack) hooks up with a young farmboy (Cole Ryan) and introduces him to the ways of gay sex, addressing him as “sport” throughout the encounter, as in a reference to “your big stiff dirty-boy boner; I’m here for you, sport”. (The farmboy mostly addresses the trucker as “sir”, leading to this weird bit of sex talk: “Suck my fuckin’ hard boner, sir”.)

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