Miles Z. Archer (webmaster@BRIGHT-IDEA.COM)
Tue, 11 Mar 1997 11:09:27 +0000

Although I don't necessarily disagree with anything that either Sandra
Hollin Flowers (or David Vancil -- if I recall what he stated correctly)
has written, there is one traditional use of language that Sandra has

Language, I suppose specifically slang and euphemism, have long been
used as a means of separating sub-groups from the total-group (as well
as from other sub-groups). And that means that language, while used as
a means of communication within a sub-group, is at the same time used as
a means of excluding "outsiders."

Were we really "ordinary people"? It seems to me that in every way
possible, from our clothes, to our music, to our words, we worked hard
at differentiating ourselves from the "straight" world (interesting the
way "straight" now has a whole new slant).

When we want to see what we looked like "back then," it is easy to pick
up a photo. We see, in most cases, that the difference between how we
looked then and now is striking. Since we didn't tape record ourselves
the same way we took photos, it is not as easy to recall
how we looked "verbally", at that time and place.

It is my memory, and my postulate, that we then spoke just as
differently as we dressed.

If this is true, it does make language an important, perhaps
indispensable (of course not to exclusion of other means of drawing a
well-formed, rich character -- as some have stated), ingredient in the
development of a "60's" character -- and the time and place.

All this brings me back to the initial notion that the importance of
language in a developing a 60's fictional milieu appears to be at odds
with that same language sounding... Dated? Passe? Cliche? Worn?
Hackneyed? Silly? False? etc.... to today's ears.

Miles Archer