Social Mood Conference  |  Socionomics Foundation

By Alan Hall | Excerpted from the December 2016 Socionomist


In his new book, The Socionomic Theory of Finance, Robert Prechter says socionomists have observed correlations between stock market trends and more than 50 social behaviors. Social mood’s broad influence appears in everything from clothing styles to election outcomes to nuclear testing to epidemic disease, and more. It even affects how we speak. In the December 2016 issue, Alan Hall shows the influence of social mood on slang words and phrases such as “Right on,” “Get a life” and “Pimpin.” Following are excerpts from Hall’s article:

A number of researchers have examined the frequencies of word-occurrence in relation to social behavior, and we have reported on many of their important finds in past issues of The Socionomist. …

But popular slang has received less attention from academic researchers. We wondered if social mood might influence the tenor of popular slang words and phrases that emerge over time. We found evidence that mood alternately lightens and shades the “swank” of popular slang. …

The negative social mood extreme of 1982 produced several slang phrases that were primarily negative in tone. A February 2007 New Yorker article, “Notable Quotables,” mentions four of them. … We added “Gag me with a spoon”—an expression of disgust derived from Valspeak, an “obnoxious form of Californian English”—to the New Yorker’s list at the bottom of Figure 1. …

The phrase “gag me with a spoon” boomed in popularity after Frank Zappa released the song “Valley Girl” in 1982, in which his 14-year-old daughter, Moon Unit Zappa, spoke phrases stereotypical of the Southern California Valley Girl. …

The positive social mood extremes of 1965 and 1999 also produced slang that fit the times. Popular phrases included “Far out!” “Groovy,” “Outta sight!” “LOL” and “OMG.” … The flower-power of the mid-1960s differed from the materialism of the late 1990s, but both eras, and their slang, reflected the confidence, friskiness and optimism of positive mood.


 

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