Impulsive Inquiry

uncontrolled questioning of the world I perceive.

“I mock you with my monkey pants” or why I speak the way I do

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OK blog-world, I think our relationship has reached that special point where I can confess one of my deepest secrets to you.

All those clever, hilarious things I say? I didn’t come up with them. Well, that is not entirely true. If I am ever clever or hilarious is up for debate, and much of what I say, I do come up with, BUT, a good portion of what comes out of my mouth (or pops into my head) is straight out of a tv show, book, movie, or song.

More importantly, the way I in which I speak, my cadence and word choices are hugely influenced by my media consumption.

Still there? Haven’t given up on me?

Let me explain.

I really enjoy both confusing people and entertaining myself. These joys can be found by inserting quotes or paraphrasing ideas that I have retained from consumed media into conversations. Look at it as a private joke with myself. Sometimes other people get it, sometimes not, but I love it.

Now the real question is “What in the heck kinda media influence taught you to speak in such an odd manner anyhow?” The answer to that, ladies and gentlemen, is two brilliant tv shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Gilmore Girls. Yes, I am stuck in the 90s (well, early ’00s too).

Every time I rewatch those two shows (yes, they are both seven season long, and yes I have rewatched them both in their entirety multiple times) I am shocked by how much influence they have had on my speech. It gives me the wiggins. For serious.

The thing is, this is not an “OH MY GOD THE MEDIA HAS TAKEN CONTROL OF MY THINKING AND WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE OR MOVE TO HOLLYWOOD” scenario. I am sharing this because I believe that these two shows helped me to speak better.

let me repeat that. TV helped to improve how I spoke. It is true. The shows I latched onto in my vulnerable teen years are two smart, witty shows. They modeled how to speak well and never dumbed their dialogue down.

And that is precisely how I speak. I learned to love big words, pop culture references, and crazy slang from these shows and I choose to emulate that model. I won’t dumb down what I say, but I will define words when people ask.

It is true that I come from a well spoken family that values education highly, but that is not why I speak well. I speak well because it is cool. I know it is cool because Buffy, the Scoobies, and all the residents of Stars Hollow speak well.

While it might be argued that the main characters in shows like these don’t “speak like high schoolers” the truth is, they speak how high schoolers should. And what is wrong with that?

 

PS:

For all those not in the know, the quote in the title is from Buffy, Season 2, Episode 10 ‘Whats my line: part 2’.

The full quote is one of my favorite exchanges on television ever, and if you spend any amount of time with me, you probably heard me quote it.

Oz, eating animal crackers: Oh, look! Monkey! And he has a little hat. And little pants.
Willow: Yeah, I see!
Oz: The monkey’s the only cookie animal that gets to wear clothes, you know that?– You have the sweetest smile I’ve ever seen.– So, I’m wondering, do the other cookie animals feel sorta ripped? Like, is the hippo going, “Hey, man, where are my pants? I have my hippo dignity!” And you know the monkey’s just, (French accent) “I mock you with my monkey pants!” And there’s a big coup in the zoo.
Willow: The monkey is French?
Oz: All monkeys are French. You didn’t know that?

 

Some time I will share how Buffy was the first television show I ever watched (due to my tyrannical no screen upbringing) but that is a different story.

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