“Scott popularized a lot of lingo that now just seems childish. Hops, ups, really compelling adjectives like mad, crazy. His shtick dumbed down vocabularies of America’s youth.”
That’s a random internet poster on the passing of sportscaster Stuart Scott showing some serious lame white guy English snobbery. As a lame white guy myself, I’m pretty sure this sort of attitude arises from simple jealousy. Why do I sound like a massive tool if I say someone has mad hops, but that guy on TV sounds smooth and natural. Not fair!
And let’s not forget that mad hops is a way more efficient phrase than this post’s title. This is how we continue inventing the English language, even if us snobbish English Majors don’t like it. Some people are just really good at it. If the internet had been around in Shakespeare’s day, I have to assume there would be a bunch of snobs complaining about all the words and phrases the bard just made up. Then they’d get even madder as people started using those words in everyday speech.
I have to admit I didn’t grasp Scott’s influence until people started mentioning it after his death. He was on ESPN for as long as I can remember, and he spoke the way he spoke that entire time. That’s just another way I’m a lame white guy, though. To me, he was that interesting guy on TV. To a lot of people who don’t look like me, he was the first TV personality who looked and sounded like them.
So I guess this is a welcome reminder that even ESPN is something that different people experience differently. Also, fuck cancer. Seriously.