Category Archives: Language

Turnt Up

Most of my friends and associates are older than me, and I just turned thirty. Like those before us, my age group is quickly becoming oblivious to what’s cool, hip, fly, phat, dope, or the bomb; of those phrases, cool may be the only one still in circulation, and it’s still not cool to refer to oneself as cool. The problem is that we’re a productive bunch, and that usually means less rap music; which is the news for people who are so misinformed, that portraying art becomes their life. Popularity ultimately drives catch phrases into a culture’s vernacular, and we get left behind, because we’re more concerned with earning the Money, Power, and Respect that reciting lyrics did not give us. While hanging out, chilling, and relaxing all cool, conversations lose context when new slang goes over our head; in turn, this is the first in a series of posts to stay up to date with the ever changing Ebonics around me.

When I think of something turning up, I think of a volume knob on a stereo set, or the sudden appearance of something that previously went missing; like, my car keys turned up, you wouldn’t believe where I found them. If I had to associate the phrase with a slang connotation, arriving late to a party would make some sense to me; then we could do away with mentioning colored people time. Due to the term’s constant attachment to photographs of unsupervised raving, I deduced that being turned up appears to be the opposite of being faded. If you’re also confused by the term faded, then you are not alone, you’re also in luck! To digress, a faded person is usually “out of it” due to excessive narcotics consumption, they may also “black out,” and must definitely be in a happy stupor. Faded and turned up are not exact opposites though, because I assume you can get faded anywhere: at work, or with your children in the kitchen; whereas, based on observations, being turned up involves energetic people at parties; no one is getting turned up at the Laundromat.

Music is an integral part of the turn up community, per music videos and sing-along hooks, the genre of music also appears to be a vital ingredient to the turned up environment. Hip Hop and Rap definitely turn people up, Rock and Roll could potentially provide turn up tracks; Gospel, Country, and Alternative Rock are not conducive to turning up.

Before you graduate from this course, with the knowledge necessary to confidently turn yourself up, I must introduce you to the formal spelling: turnt up. For the life of me I can’t figure out where the extra “t” came from; however, you will look like an amateur without it. Do your best to erode any advanced grasp of the English language you may possess, now you’re ready to turn up, get turned up, and start turning things up; that last one really doesn’t compute, don’t use it.


French in America

Michael Bloomberg is a billionaire; his droning interpretative speeches are a devastating testament to acquiring a second language in America. I was born in Montreal, Quebec, which is the last remaining French region of Canada. Although French was taught in my Canadian elementary school, our remaining classes were taught in English. My family moved to Brooklyn, New York when I was nine years old. In America, the public schools I attended solely offered Spanish language classes. Without native French speakers at home, my lack of re-enforced practice and regularity upheld a language barrier. Any desire to independently learn was also thwarted by the social stigma; despite the French colonial assistance during the American Revolution, and congratulatory Statue of Liberty, French unfairly gets a bad rap in America.

Being bilingual is decidedly awesome, benefits include increased intelligence and delayed onset of dementia; then there’s automatic membership into an exclusive club. Imagine having conversations about sensitive topics, without relinquishing a clue of subject matter to anyone not involved. It’s especially wonderful when the person thinks they know what’s being said: No madam, he actually asked how you taste; watching you giggle at his accent is high comedy. There’s also the opposite effect of playing a fool, and overhearing conversations you weren’t thought to be privy to; which Americans would be smart to admit happens far more often than they’re aware of.

As an adult, in pursuit of every noted advantage that learning French has to offer, I have tried using the interactive Rosetta Stone, listening to Pimsleur audio lessons, and signing up for online DuoLingo courses. Each language program was started from the basic level. Difficulty was incrementally increased on schedule. Programs were repeated from scratch on numerous occasions. Every opportunity, though proven to instill and recall bits and pieces of information, has essentially gone to waste. The problem could be me; an undiagnosed brain tumor inhibiting my language receptors sounds better than a lack of discipline. My next course of action is pure overload: to concurrently try every option, while listening to French radio throughout the day. I expect to read, write, speak, and understand French within a month. A constant bombardment of language learning tools versus unreal expectations. See this space again in February for updates.

Because I believe the socially impaired have truly unique perspectives, sign is also on my short list of languages to learn. If there is another person out there who would like to partner with me for this learning experience, then please contact me through any channel on