Rather than look at words--what they mean alone, what they mean linked together, and so on--she likes to look at sociolinguistics, what language means in context for the people who spoke it. Until recently I'd forgotten this conversation. I write this post separated from both of my best friends; Naomi is in Indiana with her boyfriend and I am in Texas, with my family. The conversation which pulled back this memory from the ether happened when I was frantically preparing to cross the ocean. We couldn't even discuss the new revelation...and I hate that. All we had time for was to note it, then literally take down a note. (Apparently I become verbose when I require sleep...)
When the two of us were getting ready to go out, we fell into a conversation about musical genres. I made a comment about the strange shift in usage of the term 'emo.' I didn't realize that Amy was unaware of the term's origins; she made a very strange comment. I thought that if I started explaining, I even cited examples, that she'd remember it but she didn't. Not that there was any real reason for her to know it, I'm not expecting a person to know innately how and why a form of music is called what it is, but we are the same age. The 'new' emo emerged around the same time we graduated high school. I thought that it was common knowledge.
After going through a partial history, I likened emo to punk since both had roots which are drastically different from the reinvention that developed long after the original movement died. Amy said she was only ever interested in genre as a way to find the music she likes on her itunes. I would much rather look at what movement spawned the genre, what it meant to the people, what were the ripple effects? Essentially, the sociocultural aspects. Amy brought up our past conversation as an interesting comparison. Interesting, indeed.