March 13, 2018 at 3:14 pm #742970
The actual use of the phrase wasn’t the issue. It was the tone that was the problem. And it’s definitely problematic when it’s a person from the majority making the derisive comment about a phrase taken directly from a minority community.
Also, it’s pretty effing elitist to think that American English can only be spoken in one way.March 13, 2018 at 3:20 pm #742971
All languages are dynamic. English is constantly changing and that’s a good thing. Sometimes we just don’t know what we are hearing. When we’ve been in England we’ve had to ask people what various phrases meant because we didn’t know what they were saying. I think it is common to be confused the first time your hear a phrase and it’s meaning isn’t necessarily intuitive. I think in person the intonation and facial expressions would have given clues that the written word didn’t.March 13, 2018 at 3:51 pm #742984
I love that language is living. However, I also know that by the time some phrases hit my old white ears it means that phrase is now no longer cool because I am not hip. If it passes my lips, that should indicate that the phrase is officially dead.
Every word and every phrase is made up. Sure we have rules for grammar but my god, they change all the time. How many times do I hear or read sentences that end in dangling participles and it’s perfectly acceptable? How many stupid Dear Abby letters have I read complaining about teenagers responding to “Thank you” with “No problem” instead of “you’re welcome” – De Rien! De Nada! No Problem!March 14, 2018 at 5:51 pm #743175
“This will just take a sec”
“Well it’s been a minute”
Everyone understands that right?
Now take that into conversational shorthand (“You’ve been in the room for like a second” “Nah, it’s been a minute” to “it’s been a minute since I’ve been back here”), and you get “it’s been a minute” to indicate that the time period is longer than indicated or longer than one might think. Note, that this is not the opposite of anything, but a phrase that has been conversationally taken out of it original context where the time indicated is relativeto another time indicated, because everyone involved originally knew what it meant. Stop me if you have or had trouble with “bad-ass” or hell a 19th c. linguistic throwback “terrific.” Everybody good? We good now?
And I too would have a problem with someone who would rather complain inaccurately about slang than just ask where it came from or what it meant, JD, and I would think that they were both unfamiliar with its origin (you know, since they were inaccurate about its linguistic impact), and would question what assumptions they were making about the people who use the protested phrase, since those users tend to be from one specifically maligned group. You don’t <i>have</i> to get in your feelings about people reacting to your ignorance. You could just reevaluate your original response.
Bellw97: Ask you friend: “Hey I want to have dinner with you to celebrate your birthday, my treat. Is X time on Y date okay? If not just let me know when you’re free” If she wants to, she will say yes or give alternative days. If she doesn’t, she will just say she can’t make it. I know you’re feeling a way about the direction of the friendship, but honestly, it’s probably best not to bring that to singular interactions, you know?March 15, 2018 at 7:34 am #743207
LW, maybe you and your husband can take her and her man to brunch or dinner one weekend?
Also, “been a minute” may be a regional thing as I’ve heard it and used it. It’s also a younger person thing. We use it quite often in my “neck of the woods”.March 15, 2018 at 7:54 am #743209
Yes, I get very tired of all the belittling comments. You can make your point without being derisive.
I don’t think the phrase is new or for the younger set. My aged family uses it. There’s an NPR podcast called Been a Minute. It’s been around for more than a minute.March 15, 2018 at 8:04 am #743212
Just jumping in to say that I have heard the expression “been a minute” many many times and it’s been around for quite a while.March 15, 2018 at 9:19 am #743216
“OMG it isn’t about race it is about a phrase used that means the opposite of it’s intent. EVERY FLIPPING THING is not about race. Furthermore I brought it up and you have zero knowledge of my race so who is using that as a factor now? Not me.”
She didn’t say that you were motivated by racial animus. She said that it’s a commonly used AA phrase and that it’s frustrating when people treat well known AA phrases as something alien and weird and nonsensical*, as you did.
I’m sure that you use tons of idioms (WHAT? IDIOMS DON’T HAVE WEIGHT!) that don’t make sense from an objective point of view, but they’re familiar to you so you don’t deride their lack of objective logic. e.g. (I HATE WHEN PEOPLE SAY THAT SOMETHING COSTS AND ARM AND A LEG THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE YOU CAN’T BUY STUFF WITH LIMBS I TRIED EBAY ONLY TAKES PAYPAL. HOW CAN I TAKE THE ADVICE WITH A GRAIN OF SALT YOU CAN’T PUT SALT ON SOMETHING NONCORPOREAL PLUS I HAVE HYPERTENSION)
There are a lot of things that can leave people feeling marginalized that aren’t motivated by burning racial hatred. This is probably the type of thing that an AA person at work or that you know casually would think it worth the trouble to get into with you in IRL. This forum has been informative for me in making me aware of things that are insulting or offensive to women that I wouldn’t have necessarily thought about. So maybe take advantage of the diversity of viewpoints you are given and at least consider what she said?March 15, 2018 at 9:26 am #743217
Fyodor for the WIN!March 15, 2018 at 9:32 am #743218
I’m white and am familiar with the phrase and understand what is meant by it when I hear it. I did not know the origin of the phrase until I read some of these comments, though.
ANYWAY, LW, if I were you, I don’t think I’d try again with this friend. You’ve now made the offer multiple times, and she hasn’t taken you up on it, so I’d drop it. If you’re trying to rekindle the friendship, I mean, that takes two and I personally don’t bother with people who don’t reciprocate effort.