When you start talking like your favorite television character or personality, then you know TVs influence on your speech patterns is truly complete. One TV show that has influenced our speech is "Seinfeld," the "show about nothing." Even though the show is no longer on the air, many of us still use its words and phrases. Is your boyfriend "spongeworthy?" Are you a "re-gifter?" And let's not talk about "shrinkage."
Copying the speech patterns of fictional characters is nothing new. People have been doing it since the early days of TV. Back in the '70s, imitating Vinnie Barbarino from "Welcome Back Kotter," or the mannerisms of Fonzi from "Happy Days" was very popular among teenagers. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" made "testosterone-y" a cool catchphrase in the '90s. And how many times have you channeled your inner Stewie from "Family Guy" when surprised -- "what the deuce?!"
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More Great Links
- CNN.com. "You talkin' to me? Film quotes stir passion." March, 2009. (April, 2011).http://articles.cnn.com/2009-03-09/entertainment/film.quotes_1_horror-films-movie-quotes?_s=PM:SHOWBIZ
- Dobrow Julia R., and Gidney, Calvin L. "The Good, the Bad, and the Foreign: The Use of Dialect in Children's Animated Television." American Academy of Political and Social Science. May, 1998. (April, 2011).http://www.jstor.org/pss/1049446
- Feeley, Christine. "Newspaper Sports Journalists Imitate ESPN's Entertaining Jargon, MU Researchers Find." Missouri School of Journalism. October 10, 2005. (April, 2011).http://journalism.missouri.edu/news/2005/10-10-sports-jargon.html
- Gebhardt, Randall E., Harless, James D. "Television News and Sexist Language: A study of Television News Effects." Education Resources Information Center. (April, 2011).http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED270818&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED270818
- Kelly, Tom. "Foul-mouthed Gordon Ramsay in hot water after viewers subjected to a swear word every two-and-a-half seconds in show." Daily Mail Online. Feb. 2, 2009. (April, 2011).http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1133317/Foul-mouthed-Gordon-Ramsay-hot-water-viewers-subjected-swear-word-half-seconds-show.html
- La84 Foundation. "Gender Stereotyping in Televised Sports." (April, 2011).http://www.la84foundation.org/9arr/ResearchReports/ResearchReport2.htm
- Libaw, Oliver. "Doh! Oxford Dictionary Takes Homer Simpson. ABC News. June 14, 2010. (April, 2011).http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=93098&page=1
- Los Angeles Times. "30 Rock, Modern Family, Breaking Bad lad WGA Nominations." Dec. 8, 2010. (April, 2011).http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/awards/2010/12/30-rock-modern-family-breaking-bad-lead-wga-nominations-updated.html
- Los Angeles Times. "A vocabulary-enhancing guide for your TV viewing." Sept. 14, 2010. (April, 2011).http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2010/09/a-vocabulary-enhancing-guide-for-your-tv-viewing.html
- Lyle, Jenna. "TV Swearing is bad influence on young people, survey finds." Christian Today. June 12, 2010. (April, 2011).http://www.christiantoday.com/article/tv.swearing.is.bad.influence.on.young.people.survey.finds/26086.htm
- Museum of Broadcast Communications. "All in the Family." (April, 2011).http://www.museum.tv/eotvsection.php?entrycode=allinthefa
- Nielsen Wire. "Americans Watching More TV Than Ever; Web and Mobile Video Up, Too." May 20, 2009. (April, 2011).http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/americans-watching-more-tv-than-ever/
- PBS. "Children and Media." (April, 2011).http://www.pbs.org/parents/childrenandmedia/article-faq.html#language
- PBS. "Power of Mass Media." (April, 2011).http://www.pbs.org/speak/ahead/mediapower/#chambers
- Rodriguez, Juan. "Free speech in a PC society." Montreal Gazette. April, 27, 2011. (April, 2011).http://www.montrealgazette.com/story_print.html?id=4682273&sponsor=
- Rosenbloom, Stephanie. "What Did You Call It?" The New York Times. Oct. 28, 2007. (April, 2011).http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/fashion/28vajayjay.html
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "Channeling Trump: Pawlenty says 'you're fired.'" April, 16, 2011. (April, 2011).http://www.seattlepi.com/default/article/Channeling-Trump-Pawlenty-says-you-re-fired-1340114.php
- Time. "Marking Hart Stew." May 26, 1984. (April, 2011).http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,921620,00.html
- Wei, Song. "Dialects to be phased out of prime time TV." China Daily. Jan. 14, 2011. (April, 2011).http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-01/14/content_11854199.htm
- Wolfram, Walt. "Do You Speak American?" PBS. (April, 2011).http://www.pbs.org/speak/ahead/change/change/
- Workforce of Women. "A sampling of sexism in cable news. (April, 2011).http://workforceofwomen.org/category/sexist-language/
A savvy communications strategist created a media pyramid focusing on how people should consume their media. HowStuffWorks talked to him about it.