The Clarkspeak Lexicon
Since the earliest days of university, I have employed certain pet catchphrases. They evolve over time, but this Clarkspeak is sometimes impenetrable to outsiders. Also occasionally infuriating.
In a gesture of postmodern technical support, here is a lexicon of some terms I’m using these days.
- Streetcar. (Pig Latin.)
- Combining form applied irrespective of previous usage. runlolarunesque is a valid construct in Clarkspeak.
- Everlast version 2.0 facial hair
- Refers to the style of facial hair given instantaneous worldwide prominence in the wake of Whitey Ford. Pencil-thin crawl of hair along the jawline, optionally including moustache. Demerit points for use with accompanying fuzzy cowboy hat. Better term: chinstrap beard.
- gf and bf
- Girlfriend and boyfriend. Optionally followed by unit.
- Homosexual. Not parallel to apartheid-era usage of racialist as synonymous with racist. Derives from Gore Vidal: There are no homosexuals, only homosexual acts. (A bit outdated, that philosophy.) Made popular by the satirical press.
- Homosexualist. Origin: Freud.
- moral equivalent
- Not my creation. Equivalent to equivalent, with overtones of ethical tradeoffs.
- meets the legal definition
- As used in the Redhead Cluster Phenomenon. “While the parts may not constitute redheadeness, the sum of the parts does – e.g., sandy-blond hair, but puffy eyelids, fawny eyelashes, freckles, and plastic skin.”
- Derived from the satirical press. Used as tag question for irony or double entendre: The gold medallist/Woody’s habitué (confirmed heterosexualist, shurely?!) addressed a press conference and issued impassioned denials (self-denial, shurely?!). Not a misspelling. It’s an adaptation of the usage of Private Eye and Frank, the British and Canadian satirical newspapers. The original Private Eye–ism, attributed to the speech impediment of Lord Bill Deedes of the Daily Telegraph, is “shurely shome mishtake?!”
- E-mail. Origin: Old queeny correspondent of mine. His operatic variations on the term were tremendously enjoyable. “I returned home from the office all tired and sweaty and was just about to check my snatch when the phone rang.... I eventually hung up on the telemarketer and discovered not a single snatch in my box. I immediately snatched over to Bernard, essentially demanding he snatch back, if only to amuse me.” That kind of thing.
- Sports. (Not actually how homosexualists speak, but plays off popular misconception.) For extra credit, write it with thorns: þportþ.
- Combining form applied irrespective of previous usage. Particularly useful on words that always refer to females: divatrix, matriarchtrix. Plural -trixen (ethnomusicologistrixen).
- Woman’s Intuition
- Precognition. Not directly attributable to gender dysphoria. There is no existing term in English for a man’s intuition, so I adopted the term that does exist. I do, however, attribute responding to the intuition as an atypically male response. The Woman’s Intuition has followed me from earliest childhood (manifesting itself as déjà vu experiences, foreknowledge, and outright telepathy) and, without exception, has never been wrong. My only task is to recognize when it’s speaking to me and to heed it.
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