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"My Bad"

I keep hearing and reading these two words. What the hell is it? It's not even English. It makes me want to puke every time I come across it. Who is responsible for this abomination?
Permalink Irregular Regular 
August 31st, 2005
Yep. One of my biggest pet peeves. This phrase makes me want to rip people's larynxes out so that they can never repeat it.
Permalink muppet 
August 31st, 2005
My mom asked me the other day, "What does 'bling' mean?"
Permalink Yoey 
August 31st, 2005
http://www.businessballs.com/clichesorigins.htm

It's an incredibly irritating saying, though I had thought that it was pretty much on its way out (seemed like it was about 3 years ago that it was at the peek in the mainstream).
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 31st, 2005
Its sort of like "Fuck Off". I'm not familiar with its origins. it makes no literal sense.

Nevertheless, "My Bad" is a colloquialism for an apology - and a very apt one at that:

It acknowledges a mistake or wrong.
It acknowledges who owns the responsibility.

Very simple, very straightforward. Unlike "I'm sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings or offended their sensebilities".

I can very easily see how muppoet would be a bit sketchy in its usage, since he would not know the fundamental basis for the thought (typical of self-made martyrs).
Permalink hoser 
August 31st, 2005
>It makes me want to puke every time I come across it.

Dude, chill. There are far worse things in the world than that.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 31st, 2005
From the BusinessBalls site above...

muppet - from the children's TV puppet-like characters created by Jim Henson's which first appeared on Sesame Street from 1969, and afterwards on the TV show The Muppets, which was produced between 1976 and 1980. Henson invented the name by combining the words marionette and puppet.

*** Since then the word has taken on the derogatory slang meaning for a stupid or disadvantaged person, which provides the basis for a couple of amusing MUPPET-based acronyms.
Permalink Jim Henson 
August 31st, 2005
What if people started saying "mea culpa" instead of "my bad"?
Permalink  
August 31st, 2005
Hoser -

I know perfectly well how to apologize. If I ever owe any of you people an apology you'll be sure to get one.

"My bad" as a shortening of a much longer, much more properly articulated sentiment CHEAPENS the sentiment. It says "I'm sorry, but not sorry enough to actually articulate it. Instead I'm only giving you two syllables in a stilted accent so that I can retain my facade of machismmo"

Fuck that.
Permalink muppet 
August 31st, 2005
Sorry, my bad.
Permalink hoser 
August 31st, 2005
No name has cracked it. It's pretty much a literal translation of "mea culpa" (normally translated to "my fault", but literally meaning something like "mine blame").

Plus, of course, language is not static, and people who complain about verbing nouns, nouning verbs, neologisms, slang, drifting word meanings, etc., should all shut up or go read some Chaucer.
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 31st, 2005
Or Shakespeare. That guy couldn't even spell his name right.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 31st, 2005
Jeezus, haven't any of you cats ever played basketball? That's where it comes from.
Permalink John Haren 
August 31st, 2005
fo shizzle, my bizzle.
Permalink  
August 31st, 2005
Sounds like a vernacular translation of Mea Culpa.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 31st, 2005
"Jeezus, haven't any of you cats ever played basketball?"

Exactly. Playing sports brevity of expression can be an asset.

I think it's socially appropriate if you make an error of little consequence. But as muppet points out, it's a little too terse for situations in which an actual apology is called for.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 31st, 2005
Good D, Jim.
Permalink John Haren 
August 31st, 2005
Some people never make it outside the front door.
Permalink hoser 
August 31st, 2005
I don't particularly like "my bad" either, but I compare it to something like "wax nostalgic". You don't use an adjective to modify a verb, dammit, that's what adverbs are for! Yet the latter is considered almost poetic, and the former is an "abomination".

To those who threaten vomit or violence towards people who use "my bad", get over it. You have no control over the development of language; people will say what they want to say, in the words that they feel best express it... and when enough people say it that way for a long enough time, you'll start to see "my bad" in grammar textbooks. Better get used to it.
Permalink Tail of the "g" 
August 31st, 2005
yes, i first heard "my bad" playing pick-up basketball back in the '80s.
Permalink not your everyday knob 
August 31st, 2005
I think the adversity to "my bad" stems more from a disdain for, err, contagious memes (to use another recent meme) than it does from the actual linguistics. e.g. the trend buckers battling against the trend followers.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 31st, 2005
What's wrong with "wax nostalgic?" Wax means grow, so it compares to "grow nostalgic", "grow big", "grow caustic", "grow fat", "grow purple"; all are acceptable English.
Permalink Ian Boys 
August 31st, 2005
I've never heard it used in the "grow" sense... every usage I've seen was with respect to expression. "Wax nostalgic" is used to refer to someone speaking nostalgically, or writing nostalgically. Maybe I've heard it in unusual contexts, but I've seen it quite often.

Correct me if I'm wrong.
Permalink Tail of the "g" 
August 31st, 2005
Wax can be a synonymn for grow.

A waxing moon, etc.
Permalink muppet 
August 31st, 2005
Actually, in "wax nostalgic" or "wax lyrical" the sense is "become" rather than "grow". So the meaning is "become nostalgic" or "become lyrical". My bad.
Permalink Ian Boys 
August 31st, 2005
Well if you "grow tired" you become tired, so it seems they can be interchangeable.
Permalink muppet 
August 31st, 2005
And waxing a mustache.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 31st, 2005
ha
Permalink muppet 
August 31st, 2005
and waxing my ass
Permalink muppet 
August 31st, 2005
I definitely see that now, but a maintain that I've never seen it used in any context other than a form of expression. In any event, I concede that it works grammatically.
Permalink Tail of the "g" 
August 31st, 2005
Dammit muppet... I didn't mean to say that I definitely see "you waxing your ass" now. Damn Idiot-B-Gone!
Permalink Tail of the "g" 
August 31st, 2005
In "Allie McBeal", there was a character who would say the most outrageous, hurtful things, then say "bygones". The purpose of this was to acknowledge he had been in the wrong, and diffuse any subsequent fire-storm of indignation.

I see "my bad" as having the same purpose -- it lets the person acknowledge they had it wrong, without going over and over exactly what was wrong, who was injured, who needs reparations if any, and avoids the need to say exactly how sorry they are in exactly the words any injured parties would like them to say.

The way I use it, it's only for really really trivial injuries, or trivial facts that I've got wrong.

And as in Allie McBeal, if you try to use it to avoid a well-deserved poop-storm for some serious injury you have dealt someone, then you're going to get the poop-storm anyway.

On-line, I hope we don't really have the ability to injure somebody that much. For complete factual errors that you want to "cop to", I find "my bad" works much better than "why yes, I had that wrong, how kind of you to point that out, I think you are correct in your correction."

Except for muppet, but he complains about most things, so I'm certainly not going to change any behavior based on what he has to say, unless corroborated by somebody I respect. Like Dennis or Philo, for instance.

In other words, get a grip.
Permalink AllanL5 
August 31st, 2005
Hey, Allan, if you want to sound like an ignorant wigger, then that's your perogative.
Permalink muppet 
August 31st, 2005
In "wax nostalgic" the expression has probably started to lose touch with its original grammatical meaning. If someone is speaking and they "wax nostalgic" it should mean they are becoming nostalgic in their speaking. But there is probably a tendency to hear or read "wax" as meaning "speak" rather than "become". Thus does language change.

Incidentally wax has the same root as the German "wachsen", which also means "grow".
Permalink Ian Boys 
August 31st, 2005
So the old meaning is waning in popularity.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 31st, 2005
Wax on, wax ?off.
Permalink Mr. Miyagi 
August 31st, 2005
Excellent, Mr. Miyagi!
Permalink AllanL5 
August 31st, 2005
There's a whole lot of waxing off in here.
Permalink muppet 
August 31st, 2005
muppet: that should be "waxing offly" :)
Permalink Tail of the "g" 
August 31st, 2005
"Jeezus, haven't any of you cats ever played basketball? That's where it comes from."

Why in the name of all that's holy would I have played an obscure, American minority sport? World series? Yeah, right!
Permalink Irregular Regular 
September 1st, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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