AI: Personal Lexicons


Every time I visit my family, I end up having at least one long one-on-one chat with my younger brother, and I always end up wondering just how comprehensible that conversation would be to other people listening in.  (My brother and I speak a variant of Sibling that is two parts philosophical terms, one part elaborate computer metaphors, two parts internet memes, and three parts TV Tropes, and I think it gets more convoluted every year.)  It amuses and amazes me just how different the lexicons we use can be between people or groups of people – it’s distinct enough that I can comfortably estimate which of my sets of friends and acquaintances will get along well based on the ‘language’ I speak with each.

How many different lexicons do you use?  How distinct are they from one another, and where do those distinctions come from?  Do you ever consciously create them?  Which are you most comfortable using, and why?

The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 3pm ET.


Featured image is from Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson.

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