Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Boxing Clever(er) - This is Teh Kid

Thirty-odd years ago I was the proud recipient of my Grandpa’s plaid housecoat. Though not at all shiny (or made of lame), I considered it the ultimate boxing accessory, immediately emblazoned it with “The Kid”, and commenced shadow-boxing and sneering my way throughout the house. But instead of my older brother quivering with fear, as I had naively anticipated, he just laughed at me. He pointed out that my little masking-tape job had inadvertently spelled out “Teh Kid” and, poof, my dream of boxing superiority vanished in an instant… quickly replaced by year upon year of fraternal “Tehkid”-based mockery.

But who’s laughing now I say? Because in addition to being a commonly misspelled word (by 10 year olds and adults alike!), “teh” (in place of “the”) appears to be gaining rapid modern-day slang momentum as it makes its way through the urbane lexicon. And here are a few examples to support my claim:

As slang, grammatical usage of the word teh is somewhat fluid. Besides being an alternate spelling of the, teh also has grammatical properties not generally applied to the; in general, it is used somewhat like an intensified “the”.

Furthermore, teh is sometimes used in front of a verb in a novel form of gerund. The best-known example of this is the word suck. Thus, the phrase "this sucks" can be converted into "this is teh suck."

And… in the techie world of elitist internet boards, “the frequent and consistent misspelling of the word “teh” has become both conventionalized and intentional”.

Video :: Boxers by Morrissey

Losing in your home town
Hell is the bell
That will not ring again
You will return one day
Because of all the things that you see
When your eyes close