Date: Thu, 7 Sep 1995 22:17:27 EDT


Subject: Lolita

Amazing. I got the same call (or our department at Yale did and I fielded

it), and like Nancy (hi, Nancy!) I tried my best, mostly off the cuff with a

little help from some slang dictionaries I had lying around. I tried pushing

the same warnings on context as Nancy did (although I suspect not as

fluently), but I did end up suggesting that they'd be OK on 1947 uses of

'cool' and 'guy', while 'zit' was pretty unlikely. I thought 'major' in

'major option' MIGHT have been OK, unless it represents the currently

prevalent slang use, but since even if it doesn't, members of the audience

might think it did, they'd be safer to avoid it. I was also skeptical about

'get fucked', in the context

[SOMEONE:] See you later, alligator!

[LOLITA:] Get fucked, Daffy Duck!

Fucked, yes. Fucked out, fucked up, yes; get fucked, probably not. Of course

I was winging it, since I probably wouldn't recall this particular item being

used in 1947 (when I was 2) even if it was around, and I couldn't find any

clear citations even afterward. (I did check with an owner of the Historical

Dictionary of American Slang later, who at least didn't DISconfirm any of my

guesses; she did note, though, that the relevant volume for 'zit' hasn't yet

appeared in print.

I second Nancy's bravo for Hollywood in checking with us on these things,

even if our responses are not fully informed.