Date: Tue, 13 Dec 1994 10:51:10 CST From: salikoko mufwene Subject: Re: Get Over It In Message Mon, 12 Dec 1994 18:17:01 LCL, Lisa Gray writes: > I'm a reporter for the Washington City Paper, and am working on a > story about how a phrase can temporarily take on an added meaning. > Specifically, I'm writing about Marion Barry's advice to white voters > upset that he'd won the Democratic mayoral primary: "Get over it." > > Local politicians and the Washington media buzzed with the phrase for > a few weeks, turning it to whatever subject was at hand. Nervous about > voting for a Republican? Get over it. Do you believe Congress will > allow the District both a commuter tax and an increased federal > payment? Get over it. And so on. Chances are that this phrase has carried with it some of the interpretations it receives in African-American English. In Clarence Major's JUBA TO JIVE (1994), one of the meanings of GET OVER (SOMETHING) is 'overcome difficulty; to survive hardship.' E.g., "I can get over it without working too hard." In Geneva Smitherman's BLACK TALK (1994), GIT OVAH is explained as follows: 1) A Traditional Black Church term referring to making it over to the spiritual side of life, having struggled and overcome sin. "My soul look back and wonder how I got ovah." 2) By extension, to overcome racism, oppression, or any obstacle in the way to your goal. Professor Smitherman may be reached at the following office number: 517-353-9252. I hope this helps you, Salikoko S. Mufwene University of Chicago Dept. of Linguistics 1010 East 59th Street Chicago, IL 60637 s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] 312-702-8531; fax: 312-702-9861