James Harbeck (of the word blog Sesquiotica, where you can read about such things as escovitch fish, whose name turns out to be a Jamaican variant on Spanish escabeche) has a delightful piece at The Week, A linguistic dissection of 7 annoying teenage sounds (e.g., “Breathy-voiced long low back unrounded vowel with advanced tongue root: This is usually spelled something like auuggghhh. It’s the classic teenage sound of utter exasperation…”), illustrated in a brief video by Harbeck himself. I don’t actually know any teenagers, so I can’t speak to its accuracy, but it’s very enjoyable.


  1. In my day, the voiced alveolar stop and low-back unrounded vowel had a tonal component as well (and wasn’t so breathy). Decline of Western Civ, etc.

  2. You’re getting hit with comment spam. You’ve just posted an off-subject note, for instance, from somebody named “Weight Loss Pills Doctors Can Prescribe” and another note from somebody who praises you in extravagant but nonsensical terms and signs his name as a YouTube URL.
    About that, a commercial: my blogpost about the linguistics of comment spam,

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