Apr 12, 2006
Rap as rebellion, slang as hipness, and jargon as obfuscatory exclusionary pretense. These are topics discussed during my interview with world-leading slang lexicographer Jonathon Green last month in his office in London, England. And bloody invigorating it was too. We talk about why penises are funny and beat out vaginas, why slang is negative and misogynist and how it carries a kind of inventive cleverness seldom found in the harmless drudgery of every day language. We talk too about Samuel Johnson’s political bias, Eric Partridge’s connection with my relative Paul Beale, Jonathon’s insistence on austere objectivity, and the fact that he simply can’t afford to piss around having fun.