End of ADS-L Digest - 5 Nov 1997 to 6 Nov 1997 ********************************************** Subject: ADS-L Digest - 6 Nov 1997 to 7 Nov 1997 There are 43 messages totalling 1082 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Free-99; Ghetto 2. Barry Popik (18) 3. rule of thumb (2) 4. Bring Back Barry 5. "git-go and southernisms": mawmaw and pawpaw (2) 6. new subject (3) 7. Barry Pop (2) 8. basketball terms (3) 9. mamaw & papaw (was "git-go and southernisms) 10. "git-go and southernisms" 11. Fwd: Re: Re: good travel 12. Rima's rule of thumb (5) 13. Word of the Year 14. good travel 15. Who is Barry Popik? ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 15:44:22 -0500 From: Grant Barrett Subject: Free-99; Ghetto Slang I heard today (dated, I'm sure): "How much is it?" "It's free." "Free? How can it be free?" "I'm telling you, it's free-99" Speaker said "free-99" was "from the ghetto." Origin, apparently, is from merchandise in stores being marked just below a whole dollar: $3.99, $49.95, etc. Is it true that pricing custom originates with shopkeepers wanting to make it difficult for clerks to overcharge and take the excess (assuming, of course, that it is difficult for folks to do the math in their heads when no items on a bill are round numbers)? Is it also, perhaps, our tendency to feel $19.99 is somehow much less than $20.00? There's a New York City usage of "ghetto" that means something like: "provincial/local/unworldly/neighborhood-dwelling/small-town-like." The young Hispanic couple I met lost in Central Park this past summer would be ghetto: After they told me they had been lost in the park for hours, I assumed they were from the outer boroughs or Jersey, but they turned out to be from Alphabet City (about 60 blocks away, a few miles at most). A piece a couple of weeks ago in the New York Times Magazine (I believe) had a Chinese-American who described himself and his friends as being very"ghetto" when they would walk 80 blocks to Gray's Papaya in order to eat 50 cent frankfurters and to avoid paying $3.00 each for the round-trip subway ride. There was also a vague subtext of "ghetto" including customs that belonged only to a certain neighborhood (in this case New York's Chinatown), such as wearing a long lock of hair in the front, and wearing very wide-legged jeans (as much as 30 inches per leg). Grant Barrett gbarrett[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]dfjp.com