html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: I will do original reporting!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I will do original reporting!

The Clintons have been trying to speak in a way my peoples will understand:
According to a Clinton supporter, the Governor's wife, Hillary Clinton, took her husband aside just before a debate and told him: "If Jerry Brown goes off on some wild tangent against you, just remind him he's from California and what they say out there is chill out . Just tell him to chill out."

Sure enough, as Mr. Brown started to inveigh against the Clinton civil rights record, Mr. Clinton interrupted cheerfully with "Jerry, chill out! You're from California—chill out. Cool off a little." That became the sound bite used on all the evening news shows the next day. Note how Governor Clinton slipped in the definition, "to cool off," so that non-Californians would understand.
They're a generation older than I am, and have this mildly skewed by my standards. I would issue a "Chill, dude", without the follow through preposition. In my sister's circles, they say "Chilly" or "Keep it chilly" as an admonition to stay calm and keep one's head in a pressured situation. I think that is an idiosyncratic usage, from their time playing sports together.

Nevertheless, I am in my mid-thirties, which makes me a generation older than anyone who is actually cool. I'm sure that I am not right either. However! I know a fourfifteen year old girl! I will ask her, and she will tell me what the Clintons should have said to be hep cats.

UPDATE: Seems like the Clintons are more au courant than I am. My fifteen year old source reports that she would use chill or chill out interchangeably.

9 Comments:

Blogger Strange Bird said...

Actually, he should have said, "chillAX," an admonition to both "chill out" and "relax," with the accent over the a for increased emphasis.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

If I thought he and Attorney General Brown were speaking in code to each other, as generational peers, I would understand better.

I've seen chillax around the blogs, but not heard it much. No doubt my source will confirm your usage.

2:58 PM  
Blogger jens said...

I'm not entirely certain they are concentrating on the 14-year-old vote.....

5:07 PM  
Blogger bobvis said...

I would say "chill, dude" too, which almost certainly implies that it's for fuddy-duddies. Sorry.

The other thing I might say is just "dude" in my what-are-you-doing tone.

Experience of the day: I checked the weather this morning and it was in the high 40s implying a warmish day. It has gotten progressively colder and made going to dinner an ordeal. Maybe the two-scoop sundae I had wasn't a smart buy...

I am not looking forward to waiting for the bus tonight to go home.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Ennis said...

Today, at noon, snow eagerly fell as if it could roll back spring into winter once more.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Jerry Brown is nearly 70 and he presumably knows what "chill out" means.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous mith said...

The quote you're mentioning, though, comes from a NY Times article from 1992. I don't think the 14-year old girl will have much perspective on what the cool people were saying in 1992.

6:53 AM  
Blogger Strange Bird said...

But what's really important here is that he didn't say, "Take a chill pill." My mom says that, which means it is, de facto, not cool.

4:57 PM  
Blogger bobvis said...

It occurs to me now: if you are a politician, you don't have to be actually cool. You just have to be a smidgen cooler than the other guy.

1:28 PM  

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