Skip to main content
The largest online newspaper by Ancestryprint logo
A Publisher Extra® Newspaper

The Noblesville Ledger from Noblesville, Indiana • 3

Noblesville, Indiana
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

M. HA MOSUfVIU-E DAILY UMII-fiH I It It Mardi Gras Hade You Talke To Orleans Set To Party Teen-ager La tely? white man's Mardi Gras and the white man's tomb ef African heritage compswe with blacks wearing blackface, carrying toy spears and handing eut sesvesir CTceouts New NEW ORLEANS (UPI) -Yon can learn about Mardi Gras from a book, with all its history. But you can learn much more on Bourbon Street, where the chaotic language and intoxicating spirit produce that -feeling in the air." "Mardi Gras is dynamite, man," shouts Mike Perralta, working over a pot of steaming chili in a portable hot dog stand. "It's my heritage. I was bora and raised in New' Orleans.

This is what it is, you know?" Owen McManus, wearing dark glasses rimmed in red glitter, chimes in against the backdrop of marching bands and several thousand voices shouting hoarsely for throws objects thrown to the anxious crowd. "It's the feeling in the air, the excitement and the carefree 'let it all bang' out "It's kind 1 of like this all the time, but in the French Quarter everybody does it on Mardi Gras." To visitors. Fat Tuesday is a ooce-in-a-Uetime excuse for nonsense, a memorable if somewhat uncontrollable tourist attraction. For natives, it's an annual assertion of uniqueness, a bravado boast that people elsewhere wouldn't be caught dead doing this sort of thing. From shorty after dawn Tuesday until the poiice-eksr the streets at midnight, most of New Orleans becomes a raucous, raunchy carnival culminating nearly two weeks of accelerating celebration.

More than a million people jam into a few square blocks of the French Quarter and spill over onto broad Canal Street near the Mississippi River and tree-shaded St Charles Avenue. They participate, in varying degrees, in a tribal rite whose pagan roots are poorly concealed in Christian wrapping and become even clearer as the restraint of Lent draws near. A scholar feeling his way through the crash of bodies on Bourbon Street would remember the orgies of decaying Rome. With good reason. Mardi Gras is linked to ancient rites of fertility, which were formalized by the Romans as the annual mid-February feast of Lupercalis.

This bawdy observance proved far too popular for the Christians to suppress, so they did the next best thing: assigned it a religious significance and followed it with a period of repentance. By the time Pope Gregory produced his calendar, the festival was wedded to the three days before Ash Wednesday. As celebrated in New Orleans. Mardi Gras is thoroughly French in design. After suppress km by the Spanish while they were in charge, the basic celebration was hammered out by Americans in 1857 in much the shape it takes today.

Despite an occasional fatality, an invasion by hippies in the 1960s and a police strike in the 1970s, New Orleans goes out of its way each year to believe its own news releases. It pretends to be "The City That Care Forgot" and convinces itself with refreshing frequency. If the weather varies with the social cliroate. the choreography of Fat Tuesday is set in concrete. In the early morning, casual gangs of revelers parade through the filling streets, led by clarinetist Pete Fountain and his "Half-Fast Marching Club." At any given moment during these winding marches, the celebrants might run into Zulu, an all-black parade that wanders the streets without a route.

Zulu spoofs both the By CAROL ftOSENftfitS 'It nay sound ta mm like cold-blooded murder of the EagSsa tongue, but American kids have bees speaking a language of their own since tbey annoyed their Pilgrim parents at Plymouth Rocks Ask teenager today what hf thought of last night's rock show. II he liked H. it was "wicked" or "totally awesome." But if be didn't, it was "groady" or "harsh." Young people punctuate their sentences with slang. They drop phrases that would make Professor Henry Higgins turn over in his grave. Twice.

jr "It's just like a dictionary that only teenagers understand," said Michael Harris, 17, a high school student in Richmond, Va. "You go home and you have to spell it for your parents. Tbey don't even know what you're talking about" But this has been going on for years. Slang is as old as English itself, says Stuart Berg Flexner. editor-in-chief of the Random House Dictionary, author of the Dictionary of American Slang.

It offended puritan parents that their Pilgrim children took their traditional farewell God be with you and turned it into "good-bye," Flexner says. Today's words are obsolete tomorrow. may call somebody a Jerk, but today they would call hjia a nerd," says Flexner, M. "Each generation seems to want to have some of its own words. "It's not so much to shut out adults although that's a part of it.

It gives them identity with their own age group. They sort of belong to their own dub," he says. is valleytalk and Next up is Rex, the gh-tering king of Carnival, toasting his queen outside the iwh Rmim flub lu acknowledging screams for tossed trinkets with only a graceful wave of his scepter. makeshift splendor are hundreds of "truck floats" pieced together by tiny social dubs and costing as much as $1,200 a person to ride. The Mystic Krewe of Cora us serves up each season's final a night run through the city that ends in a meeting with Rex at midnight.

In the French Quarter, several blocks from the monarchs' plush valedictory, thousands of drunk-and-disorderlies are stumbling out of beer halls to the sound of police sirens. ijfuiM as VJvaii oi within minutes and a shovel-wielding ghoul squad descends on Mardi Gras' mountains of garbage, as though to give the streets themselves a thorough Lenten cleansing. tOs KCDAY TUESDAY preppyspeak, Jacktaft and street language. Take kiooa Doit Zappa's Valley Tafc. The daughter of famed rocker Prank Zappa was 14 years-old when her dad sat her beore a suerophone and documented her language ina pop song.

Cag me with a spoon," she says to show disgust "Groady to the max." Legions of youngsters across America picked it up. The song, and language, was a coast-to-coast hit. But that killed it. "Valley Speak is out," reports Jane Segal, It, a reformed Valley Girl at Santa Monica High School. "It went out after the song was played to death.

It was really popular, and then everyone got so sick of the stupid song they quit saying that stuff." "No one ever says Cag me' anymore," she says. "Totally is still hanging on. and everyone uses They say it everywhere, just sprinkle in. I do it sub- consciously. I use it like Flexner considers slang reflection of American pop culture.

Words come and go like No. hit songs. Once a word is widely known it may be dropped, relegated to the used-slang bin alongside "swell" from the 50s and "groovy" from the 60s. Others stick around like golden oldies. "There are classics.

Once a good phrase comes along it's pretty hard to replace says Scott Wenger, 19, a New York University student. out' still means crazy and 'pulling an all-nighter' still means to study hard until all hours of the morning for exams." Teenagers may dream up sng, but adults use it Julia Shields, 42, a high school CHOPPERS CHOICE: "Ue'te (lie Iff eat Veopk University in New Haven, Conn, is called a "wennie." Study cubicles at the campus horary are "wennie bins." Yale has "words you don't boar anywhere else," reports senior Joseph Gibson. Two popular areas for slang among teenagers are what Flexner calls "putdown words" and "approval words." Kids arent happy anymore. They're psyched. They're no longer sad.

They bummed. When they like someone, that person is cool, gnarly or rad. But if they don't he's a fag, donut hole, dweeb, loser, nerd, reject or turkey. If it's something tbey don't like, it's heat grifty. groady or gross.

Also scuzzy, skanky, uncool or yucky. Young people also like to abbreviate. has, become "ex-o," McDonald's is "Mickey D's," and "See you later" is simply later. "Za" is pizza. "Rents" are mom and dad.

Although slang came over with the Mayflower, how it's used and who uses it is changing. Older students are shying away from it more than in the past Flexner says. "I think the fast paced lingo" is fading away," says Judson N. Kempson, 22, an English literature student at Stanford University in California. "Students are definitely getting more conservative and going with standard phrases more." But don't fear.

Younger students preteens and younger teenagers are taking up the slack. They are developing their own phrases rather than sjmply mimicking their older brothers and sisters. "The main trend is that the Interesting slang is coming out of junior high schools now rather than colleges," says Flexner, who leafs through magazines like "Rolling Stone" and "Mother Jones" in search of new slang. "That is probably because college students are serious and conservative because of the economy and government," he suggests. But Jane Segal and her buddies at Santa Monica High aren't thinking about the New, Right and Reaganomics.

"'Cool' is a good word, people still say that. It means-really nice, really good," she says. "'Stoked' is another popular one. It means happily surprised, like, 'I was so stoked when I got my birthday she explains. "AH the surfers at our school say which means really good, like to refer to a wave.

People I know say, 'let's hit like when you wanna leave a party. Perhaps our proper Puritans were aptly alarmed after all. God Be With You. 56 FIET OF Ui.DJl. QIOICE CIEF, POKX I POULTRY 2350 E.

COuHER, KODLESVILLE PLAZA Open Ca.m.-lOp.n. 7 Days- Wofk Spectafo English teafher ta Charlottesville; Va is an avowed "I love slang, think its coierfal. wonderful. metaphorie Some of is quite clever," she says. "I hate it, but I call everything It's such, a horrible, vague, meaningless word.

But I use it in every sentence." Slang is not the talk of board rooms and diplomatic sessions: Because young people spend more time informally man adults, and slang is a product of relaxing the rules, high schools and college campuses are breeding grounds for iL UPI surveyed campuses across the nation and found students have two main activities in college drinking and studying. When they drink too much, students still get drunk. They also get bombed, blitzed and buzzed, trashed, polluted, wasted, slathered and hammered. Asked what terms are popular among her friends at the Uniersity of North Carolina, senior Laura Lauck offered a few terms and then went blank. "I'm burned out because I got trashed last night," she-said, apologizing.

Some things never change and students still pay the consequences when they drink too much. But what their parents called vomiting young people call "blowing lunch." They also "pop their cookies," "had a technicolor yawn," "kneel before the great porcelain God," and "ralph," The last is onomatopoeic it sounds like the act. However, students still study; their slang reflects it "When a student, has read the material but hasn't gotten down to doing the statistics, he will say be hasn't 'done the number crunching says Erika Alvarez, 22, a business student at New York University. When some students fail an exam, they say they "boned" it. When they did well, they "aced'Mt.

"One of my favorites is the way you refer to somebody who's good in one course or another," reports Ray Boyer, a publicist for Williams College In Willlamstown, where much of the lingo is about academia. Outstanding chemistry students are said to be Chemgods. Econgods and Mathgods really know their economics or mathematics. "But we agreed it doesn't carry over to the classics where you'd have something like, Greek God," Boyer says, tongue-in-cheek. Students also do a lot of "crunching" at Williams.

Classmates who do their crunching in the hard sciences are called "powertools." A hardworker at Yale ARTIFICIAL HEART Teentalk Glossary By United Press International A glossary compiled by UPI of slang terms popular among high school and college students across the nation: awesome outstanding (also: cool, ex-o, gnarly, neat, tad, totally awesome, wicked) 1 1 -n n'i, fflSHM Bonnie HAMBURGER DUtJS oaa jusiweoppwue, somewingBouu bag abandon previous plans (also: blow off, dust) beat out of style, worthless blow sing blow-off an easy task or'chore bogus no good book move quickly bone '-money, cash (also: geeters, geets) boned given a bad grade bum to mooch bummer bad news buzzed drunk (also: bombed, blitzed, hammered, polluted, slathered, trashed, wasted) chemgod an outstanding chemistry student (also: "econgod" and "mathgod," for economics, mathematics) coffee as a verb, to eat breakfast cool having style chill out calm down (also: cool out) chine short for machine, automobile catch some 'z's sleep (also: crash, rack) crib home cruncher a serious studier of the hard sciences, computers, mathematics. def short for definite, excellent ex-o short for excellent (also: awesome, totally awesome) fag someone who behaves offensively flipped-out crazy (also: go borneo, wigged-out) for sure a signal of agreement get a clue to understand, catch on gnarly great, groovy grind a bookworm, (also: powertool) groady ugly, disgusting (also: grifty, gross, scuzzy, skanky, uncool and yucky gut an easy course (also: crip, slide) howl a funny happening hyper a person somewhat frenetic jag annoy, bother jam as a noun, a party as a verb, to dance or play or raise hell later see you later 0 let's cruise let's leave (also: let's rally, let's blaze, lets blow this fire trap, let's get outta this camp) like used in place of "um," to fill space nerd one who lacks style (also: donut hole, dweeb, reject, turkey) Mickey D's McDonald's number crunching to study the hard sciences, statistics, math party-animal someone who likes to have a good time party like a banshee-- to ha ve a good time peck-food powertool someone who, studies hard (also: cruncher) get psyched excited, enthusiastic (also: jazzed) pull an all-nighter study until the sun comes up 1 rad short for radical, outrageous, ralph as a verb, to vomit, (also: to Europe with Ralph and Earl in a Buick," "blow rents parents scarf eat quickly (also:" chow down) scoff to steal scope out to checkout skypiece hat stoked happily surprised suds beer Technicolor yawn vomit, as a noun totally clueless in the dark to the max the best, the ultimate (also: wicked) wench a woman, can be a term of endearment wennie a hard studier wennie bin a study cubicle in the campus library wicked great, the ultimate you're on drugs you're crazy I tt pizza terking being wacky, goofy Sweet Spanish r2J LK- recipient Barney Clark. mmm poses for a picture Friday on the 72nd day of life on the Jarvik-7 plastic, heart. The 62-year-old Clark continues to gain strength at the University of Utah Medical Center. (U Rl Photo) Choice mfr'Wm ti? SHAH mEsvniE FESTCIaTED Eckrich in KuZSTSCEXL REGISTRATION FOR 19S3-M SCHOOL YEAR Accepting 3 4 4 yaor okh fJSSt 2051 1.

Monument St. NoblMvilU (Youth Cantor Roar Intranco) B9 rrmi.

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 300+ newspapers from the 1700's - 2000's
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Noblesville Ledger
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

About The Noblesville Ledger Archive

Pages Available:
Years Available: