Bob Wright on slang.........

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Armybrat

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"wheel gun."

I like that term. A pistol could be a revolver type or a self loading type.
Remember, revolvers and semi-autos are just stages of evolution of a pistol that was originally a muzzeled loaded firearm.
Considering Sam Colt allegedly came up with his revolver idea by observing a sailing ship’s “steering wheel”, or helm, I’m good with using that term.
Sounds better than “helm gun“ too.

Just my 2 cents.... you may keep the change.
 

vito

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Slang is what it is, and makes language more colorful if not always more accurate. Being an absolutist on the subject makes no sense to me. What bugs me is flat out ignorance of the language, such as when a government official a few years back was forced to resign by ignorant fools because this official used the word "niggardly" in its proper meaning.

I find slang to be an interesting variant often indicating the region of the country the speaker came from, and/or the era of when they grew up. Saying something is "groovy" is a good example. You are not likely to hear this word from anyone over 80 or under 60. A former friend of my youngest son is named Roscoe, and I joked that if and when he has a son of his own we would call that child "a son of a gun", only to be met by totally puzzled expressions of those who had never heard the slang term "roscoe" used to mean a handgun.
 

Diabloman

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Ohio Territory
Well down in Texas we had our own "lingo". Be'n Texians
ya knew what was being said. When I came to OH it seems
like folks think I'm speaking another form of Inglish! After 40+
years it hasn't changed much. I can understand Festus on "Gunsmoke" better than some of these new terms. Right now
I'ma fixin to get me some dinner...Y'all!
 

noahmercy

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Sheridan, WY
I actually worked with a man named Richard Head. Guess what he was called....Whatever possessed his parents to name him Richard I'll never know.
There was a fellow in Buffalo, Wyoming who owned a restaurant. Last name Grabber, and his license plate proudly wore his first name..."DICK". Don't know what some parents are thinking. (Also used to work on a fella's boat whose moniker was Harry Wanger.)
 

eveled

Hunter
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"wheel gun."

I like that term. A pistol could be a revolver type or a self loading type.
Remember, revolvers and semi-autos are just stages of evolution of a pistol that was originally a muzzeled loaded firearm.
This is a good example actually. Technically you are very wrong. A revolver is not a pistol. A pistol by definition has to have its chamber be a part of the barrel. Muzzle loaders and semi autos are pistols.

I said it was a good example because the word pistol in common use includes revolvers.

I mean you can’t argue with Jose Wales. “You gonna pull them pistols?”

Language especially English evolves
 

Snake Pleskin

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Slang is what it is, and makes language more colorful if not always more accurate. Being an absolutist on the subject makes no sense to me. What bugs me is flat out ignorance of the language, such as when a government official a few years back was forced to resign by ignorant fools because this official used the word "niggardly" in its proper meaning.

I find slang to be an interesting variant often indicating the region of the country the speaker came from, and/or the era of when they grew up. Saying something is "groovy" is a good example. You are not likely to hear this word from anyone over 80 or under 60. A former friend of my youngest son is named Roscoe, and I joked that if and when he has a son of his own we would call that child "a son of a gun", only to be met by totally puzzled expressions of those who had never heard the slang term "roscoe" used to mean a handgun.
LOL, Roscoe & Heater , old NYC terms back in the day!
 

eveled

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Slang does such a nice job of establishing time period. Either the current one or the one the character is from. Austin Powers is a great example.

It also shows were a person comes from. Either regional or their past experiences.

If the author does their job and the reader is astute. When character uses the word “pop” for soda the reader knows were the character is from.

If a character puts on his skivvies after his shower and asks the waitress for the “black and white” when she brings his eggs. You know he was in the Navy.
 

eveled

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My mother used to make SOS. It was ok. No way my spoiled kids wound eat it.
 

Snake Pleskin

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My father used to actually like SOS when my mother made it. My brother and I, not so much, but in our home there was only one meal served, and you ate what was served. We survived.
 

JimA

Bearcat
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SE Michigan
This is a good example actually. Technically you are very wrong. A revolver is not a pistol. A pistol by definition has to have its chamber be a part of the barrel. Muzzle loaders and semi autos are pistols.

I said it was a good example because the word pistol in common use includes revolvers.

I mean you can’t argue with Jose Wales. “You gonna pull them pistols?”

Language especially English evolves
That is the ATF's current definition of a pistol. A pistol was originally defined as any small firearm designed to be held in one hand, including revolvers. That would now be called a handgun.
 

reuben_j_cogburn

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alaska
That would mean that all the "really nifty" vocabulary I was taught in the army would render me, effectively speechless.
Which may not be a bad thing,.
Every culture I have been exposed to, had it's own slang. Granted much of it was aimed at Americans, and not very flattering!
I see nothing wrong with slang, as long as it isn't over done. It colors things up a bit..
 

Rick Courtright

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Redlands CA USA
My brother the head of a university English department, recognizes that American English is an ongoing process of new words as well as obsolete words being added or deleted by us all, not Webster's. They eventually recognize everything that comes into common use.
Hi,

I'd agree. One of the more important lessons I've learned about the English language is that just about the time someone says "no" about some rule another will will come up with a solid argument it's "yes." And chances are both will be right!

Just for giggles, check your local library for an actual hard copy of "The Dictionary of American Slang." Then compare how thick it is compared to the other Engish language dictionaries on the shelf. Slang is an integral part of our language and no amount of fussing about it will change that.

Rick C
 
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Colonialgirl

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And I remember visiting my Grandma in PA and hearing people say "I dasn't do that"; Mother DARE I GO swimming", Or how about : "Throw me down the stairs my pants !" Yuppers, The old PA Dutch language.
 

Mike J

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I guess I look at things differently. While I don't do the best job with grammar I do have a decent vocabulary. The truth is the purpose of language is to communicate. If I use a lot of words & speak properly & the person I am trying to communicate with doesn't understand me then I have failed. I like to use colorful metaphors. I also like to inject humor when possible. Sometimes if you can tell someone something in a way they find amusing it makes them remember what you said. Besides mangling the English language is kind of fun.
 

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