A wonderful piece about the linguistics of The Jersey Shore in NY Mag:
This season, the cast will be traveling to Italy, where, despite not speaking the language, the trailer suggests they will make themselves understood well enough to seduce women and get in altercations with the Carabinieri, thanks to their grammatically incorrect, energetic, gestural, guttural, and entirely unmistakable patois. That patois is punctuated by slang (grenades, gorillas, juiceheads, smushing, ron-ron juice), acronyms (GTL, IFF, DTF), colorful nicknames (Snooki, The Situation, JWOWW), and, the group’s most infamous linguistic feat, the reappropriation of the term “guido.” Their conversational stylings have inspired Barbara Walters to ask them to define smushing and Conan O’Brien to ask them for a nickname. When this level of observer is asking you for lessons, you know you’re onto something: The castmates of Jersey Shore just might be the most articulate people on TV. Certainly, they are the most eloquent about what it means to be a celebrity right now.
Some great quotations:
“Your hand was in the cookie jar, how are you gonna sit there with the crumbs on your lip and be like, ‘I didn’t eat the cookie’!” “With Ronnie and Sammie, it’s just the same shit, different toilet.” “This girl at the club is beyond the word stalker. She is a parasite and I am the host.” Look at these catchphrase roundups for evidence.) That what they say is sometimes grammatically butchered is besides the point.
The camera then cut immediately to an interview with Mike, who sheepishly confessed that he knew he’d just been dropping filler: “I mean, what am I going to say to him? Tell him to put on a little Michael Bolton? A little fetal position action, he’s gonna be okay.”
T-Minus 4 hours till the Season Premier.