February 24, 2007
Recently both Stephanie and Laurie used the word "represent" in a way that confused me. I'm not widely read (being primarily a reader of several genre), but I'm a frequent reader and have been forever (or at least since 3rd grade when I discovered novels, specifically Beverly Clearly and Carolyn Haywood), so when two excellent writers used "represent" without objects, I had to start researching. Not being a rap sort of person, I wasn't surprised that the usage was new to me. While I'm not certain this is the same one as understood by my fellow (hah! as if I rank anywhere near them in the field) bloggers, it seems to fit their contexts well enough. Language is in constant flux, which makes it possible for dictionary writers, editors, and publishers to keep making their livings! Not to mention making it easier for insiders (such as teenagers) to confound outsiders (adults) with their jargon (slang). Though it should be argued (try to stop me!) that the insider/outsider result is not usually deliberate but an outcome of people with a shared interest needing to come up with words specific to that interest. Frog, tink, and LYS come to mind.