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One Writer's Ravings:
A Logophile's Blog
for Language Lovers

Are You Ser? That’s Ridic!

If you are someone who has people of a certain age — under 21 or so — hanging around your house or in your life for whatever reason, you may have noticed something unusual about their speech habits. No, I’m not about to launch into yet another tired complaint about how young people are on a mission to kill everyone over fifty by strafing their ears with like and y’know. What I’ve noticed lately, and maybe you have too, is how they are employing a slick new type of slang that slices the tail ends off words.

They take a word like ugly, slice off the second syllable, and say “He’s ug!” They take the adjectives serious, hilarious, and ridiculous and, for a certain heightened effect, curtail them to ser—, hilar—, and ridic—, as in this hypothetical exchange: “OMG, are you ser?” “Yeah, it was totally hilar!” “That’s freakin’ ridic!” An indifferent bystander listening to this exchange might then chime in with "Whatev—," for whatever.

Another example in this vein that I’ve noticed recently is the use of swag for swagger. According to my 14-year-old daughter Judith, who uses this curtailment often and was delighted that her idol, the pop singer Justin Bieber, used it in his new song “Boyfriend,” swag means “confidence in your style.” Judith also uses it to express excitement or vigorous assent, as in "I've got two tickets to the Justin Bieber concert." "Swag!"

Have you heard or read any other examples of this type of abbreviatory slang? If so, please do share — with citations or examples, if possible.
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