Slang in the News: Modern Tech, Prohibition History, and Snow
Slang has gotten a fair bit of coverage in recent language news.
Fortune examines the difficulties of teaching IBM’s Watson slang. According to the Turing test, natural language is the key to judging whether a computer exhibits true intelligence equivalent to a human. Watson the supercomputer, which has done well exhibiting intelligence on Jeopardy!, is trying to make that next leap to “true intelligence”—by incorporating slang from the Urban Dictionary. So far, the trial hasn’t proved successful.
The OxfordWords blog looks at the slang of the U.S. Prohibition Era: “It was almost as if everybody was so ossified all the time that it didn’t really matter if they even said the right words. As long as the made-up words they were saying had a good ring to them, it was jake.” Noting that a number of the terms associated with the era actually pre-date it by decades, the article covers speakeasy and bootlegger lingo, including several from a 1929 New York Sunday News article.
With snow on the brain, The Dabbler’s Mr. Slang has a fun looking at the surprising number of slang terms that involve snow. He covers rhyming slang, short-order chefs, laundry theft, and more.