Fact-checking the vocabulary of Stranger Things 2

If you can tuck away the part of your soul that hates hearing the s-word, please watch Stranger Things season 2. I loved it so much. It's one of those things where if I stop to think about it, I will probably find plot holes and things I didn't like (I'm side-eyeing you, episode 7), but I choose not to think about those things and instead bask in the loveliness of unhinged Winona Ryder, kids on bikes saving the world, Dusty just, like, in general, and Expert Babysitter Steve Harrington. Plus, Samwise Gamgee. Plus, that scene with Nancy's mom and Billy: I DIED.

Last year, I wondered about the 1983-appropriateness of dialogue such as douchebag, this sucks, bada**, mouth-breather, R-rated, and Russians. This year, I watched season 2 of Stranger Things and wondered about the 1984-appropriateness of the following:

1. cool. I know this THE original slang term or whatever, but I still wanted to check it out. And it fits just fine in the early 80s - it's been used to mean 'hip' since at least the 1940s and probably even earlier. 

2. don't know don't care. A six-year-old girl says this to her older brother in ST2 and I was not having it. That said, I can't find anything on the internets about when this phrase came into being. There's the old joke about ignorance and apathy, but no source or date on it. So I think this is probably not quite period-appropriate, but it's not like it's impossible that a little kid would have said it.

3. I got this. If you asked me the origin of this phrase, I would tell you that it came from any given mid-2000s season of The Amazing Race: "you got this, babe!" It just doesn't sound right for the early 80s. I have ninja skills when it comes to sussing out collocations in a corpus, but I'm a bit weaker on straight-up frequency of phrases. But a cursory search for "[pronoun] got this" doesn't turn up much for the 1980s - and sure enough, into the 2000s, reality shows start spitting out all kinds of "[pronoun] got this!" strings.

I noticed something about the Finnish subtitles for this show, too. In season 1, if I remember correctly, they called The Upside Down just "ylösalaisin" (or something very close to that - can't remember what case it was in!). This season, they added "maailma" (world) to the end: The Upside Down World. Just interesting.

November 3rd, outsourced

October 2017 books

October 2017 books