FORGETTING SYNONYMS: ON THE 'JOKERIZATION' OF EVERYDAY LANGUAGE (Synonim - pojecie zapomniane. O dzokeryzacji wspolczesnego jezyka )
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The democratization of social relations can bring about linguistic liberalization, where the effectiveness and speed of transmitting information are of utmost importance. Wherever possible, information is presented in a condensed form, as an icon or a gesture. When speaking, we increasingly rely on a limited vocabulary, using very polysemous and broad terms. Such terms undergo jokerization - they begin functioning as wild cards in a card game, being able to represent any other cards depending on the current needs (Kryzan-Stanojevic 1998). In addition to internationalisms, which appear as jokers as a matter of course (e.g. Polish super 'great' and ekstra 'great'), native words may also be used as jokers. In this case, in addition to their core meaning, they develop a new joker meaning signaled by new formal features, such as loss of inflections (cf. Croatian mrak lit. 'dark', joker 'great'; guba lit. 'leprosy', joker 'great'). When used in this way, they may form new derivational chains, becoming, in a way, less universal and resisting analytic tendencies. By the same token, derivational morphemes may also acquire joker meanings (e.g. the Croatian naj-; Kryzan-Stanojevic 2008a). Jokerization, which is based on replacing a synonym chain with a single all-encompassing word, does not prevent communication, but does impoverish it. It is an intermediate stage between verbal and non-verbal communication. This process, common in spoken language, is examined, and illustrations are drawn from computer blogs and forums.
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