2

votes

Has anyone else started calling people folks? Why people pick up habits from others

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 13, 2013 at 4:15 PM

After 160 or so Paleo Solution podcasts I just can't help but call multiple people "folks".

So since I've never had a conversation with Robb Wolf, why do I pick up his terminology? Why do we pick up habits from others? How are these habits or sayings selected?

My unsubstantiated guess is that it makes evolutionary sense to mimic those that we look up to or perceive to be good at stuff, and that filters down even to the way they speak or act.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on February 20, 2013
at 10:30 PM

Nope. She was a nice enough person and sweet but at times I found some of her traits annoying.

361bc16cfdad25411a6f93e10c45aadc

on February 20, 2013
at 05:02 PM

What if you had a subconscious admiration for a trait of theirs? Maybe they got a lot of attention or were admirably laid back.. Just some friendly conjecture. (I had to look that word up).

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on February 15, 2013
at 06:23 PM

Henna dyes are way too red for my skin tone, even the shades that are called brown. :/

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 15, 2013
at 06:09 PM

Try Light Mountain - it is totally natural and I think even Paleo! :)

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on February 15, 2013
at 03:11 PM

Why be uneasy? It's fun to speculate and toss ideas back and forth, even if we never completely figure it out. It doesn't mean that we have to accept any ideas we come up with as final or as scientific gospel. and.... thanks! I just took it the other day after I dyed my hair (I know, I know, NOT PALEO!) :)

Df3557c3165afa6c5576ced2f028e8a3

(50)

on February 14, 2013
at 06:39 PM

We're not talking about picking up 'language', of course certain words, accents, idioms, etc. are linguistic phenomena, but think of picking up these pieces as mannerisms, like taking off your hat when you see a pretty lady looking at your horse. :D

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 14, 2013
at 05:09 AM

though. Plus your new profile picture is SO CUTE!!!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 14, 2013
at 05:08 AM

Luckie, the whole language issue is very complicated. Despite tons of research, most specialists know very little on the subject. I was trained extensively, but I have to admit that what I know is just the top of the iceberg and even that is mostly hypothetical. Since this an area of my expertise I wish I kind of feel uneasy about the whole question. I wish the question would be "what lingo do you pick up from other Paleo gurus" or something like that. Because "why do people pick up words from others" is a Ph.D. research topic that needs another 100 years to finish. I appreciate your kindness

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 14, 2013
at 04:21 AM

I picked up "I know, right?" from one of my students...

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on February 14, 2013
at 04:17 AM

Seems like most people are answering, and are agreeing with you. It doesn't take a genius, or training, to figure this out or to read articles or books about it. You don't need to be able to write a thesis on the neurobiological wiring contributing to the assimilation of language to answer the OP's internet forum question.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 14, 2013
at 04:14 AM

Oh, then I misunderstood. I was taught that our language centers are located where our music center is in the brain. As far as I recall it is frontal cortex. But I could be wrong.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 14, 2013
at 04:11 AM

The mechanics of picking up language from others are more complex than just assimilation.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 14, 2013
at 04:08 AM

@MathGirl - I re-worded my answer so it sounds more politically correct. But the truth remains the same - most people are not trained enough to answer. It is not common knowledge.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on February 14, 2013
at 03:09 AM

AGREED! I used to know a stupid airhead meth-addict Louis Vuitton handbag carrying snob who used to say, "I know, right?" all the time. I couldn't stand that chick but eight years later, I still find myself using the phrase.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on February 14, 2013
at 03:06 AM

Of course t'ain't t'other way round. What would a Southerner wanna sound like a damyankee fer? ;) We have so many dialects to choose from in the south, from urban rapper to country redneck to Southern plantation. Now, if we started picking up Minnesota slang, that would be EPIC. "Golly, that's quite the deal, ya'll."

3b031bce7c181c10452ee202e2b54dc6

(803)

on February 13, 2013
at 11:26 PM

right, not directly. I was merely trying to convey that our brains are easy to trick due to this foundation. Therefore, if we tend to here a term or phrase, in this case, "folks" we tend to start incorporating it. Just as we tend to mimic the dress styles or actions of those around us like members of a club, example fraternities and sororities. The same goes for the TV shows we watch. what we expose ourselves to is going to affect how we interpret the world based on the past "experiences" It all has to do with evolution

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 13, 2013
at 10:43 PM

Very good points. Akin to learning a new language, constant exposure is as good as anything for learning. When new words adopt meaning as opposed to being just a translation, you end up blurting them out when you least expect them.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 13, 2013
at 06:22 PM

It does sound very conceited and presumptuous. I hope there is somebody here with a Ph.D in linguistics, brain and language development. So I can be wrong.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on February 13, 2013
at 06:03 PM

"not trained enough to answer" How conceited and presumptuous of you.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 13, 2013
at 05:57 PM

Actually, it has nothing to do with the lizard brain. :)

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on February 13, 2013
at 05:56 PM

Shatner, probably the worst voice-coach to learn from lol. He and Christopher Walken have some of the strangest speech cadences.

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11 Answers

3
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on February 13, 2013
at 04:27 PM

I don't think it has anything to do with whether we look up to somebody or not. I had a tech that used to say 'cool beans' all the time and it didn't take long before I was saying it too ::arghh::. Six years later I still find myself saying it on occasion...I have no idea why, fps. Working in a pharmacy can sorta be like being in a Skinner box. I guess if you are around any stimulus for major periods of time you will pick up that behavior.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 14, 2013
at 04:21 AM

I picked up "I know, right?" from one of my students...

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on February 14, 2013
at 03:09 AM

AGREED! I used to know a stupid airhead meth-addict Louis Vuitton handbag carrying snob who used to say, "I know, right?" all the time. I couldn't stand that chick but eight years later, I still find myself using the phrase.

361bc16cfdad25411a6f93e10c45aadc

on February 20, 2013
at 05:02 PM

What if you had a subconscious admiration for a trait of theirs? Maybe they got a lot of attention or were admirably laid back.. Just some friendly conjecture. (I had to look that word up).

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on February 20, 2013
at 10:30 PM

Nope. She was a nice enough person and sweet but at times I found some of her traits annoying.

2
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on February 14, 2013
at 03:02 AM

Yes, happens all the time. VB is correct (though it doesn't take "training" to know these things, pretty sure even SciAm has had an article or two on it) and it's also pretty intuitive, as you (the OP) have reasoned it out rather well.

Even though I have no problem with proper grammar and pronunciation, I find myself with a lot of "I'mma" and "lemme" and "naw" in my vocabulary when I'm casual. If you can imagine a white T.I. with a valley girl intonation, a high pitch, who is also a physics nerd as evidenced by vocabulary and humor choices, that is what I sound like. I was a pretty fast talker, too, before I got braces (at least by Southern standards). It's certainly an eclectic mix that has been brought on by hanging with my various circles.

2
Df3557c3165afa6c5576ced2f028e8a3

on February 13, 2013
at 10:24 PM

Linguists call it assimilation, and theorize it has to do with maintaining group cohesion. And,@VB, that's coming from a Ph.D in linguistics. (not me o.O)

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 14, 2013
at 04:11 AM

The mechanics of picking up language from others are more complex than just assimilation.

Df3557c3165afa6c5576ced2f028e8a3

(50)

on February 14, 2013
at 06:39 PM

We're not talking about picking up 'language', of course certain words, accents, idioms, etc. are linguistic phenomena, but think of picking up these pieces as mannerisms, like taking off your hat when you see a pretty lady looking at your horse. :D

2
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on February 13, 2013
at 05:16 PM

I say folks a lot too, but I'm from the South. I don't know whether or not Robb's use of it has influenced me in any way. I have noticed Obama uses it too. Personally, I'd find it more amusing and authentic if he'd throw some Hawaiian slang into the mix. I've noticed Northerners tend to pick up stuff from us, not really the other way round. The contraction, ya'll, for instance, seems to be handy despite the poor red-neck origin.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on February 14, 2013
at 03:06 AM

Of course t'ain't t'other way round. What would a Southerner wanna sound like a damyankee fer? ;) We have so many dialects to choose from in the south, from urban rapper to country redneck to Southern plantation. Now, if we started picking up Minnesota slang, that would be EPIC. "Golly, that's quite the deal, ya'll."

2
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 13, 2013
at 05:06 PM

Most people (even on Paleohacks) do not know the answer due to their lack of knowledge. Even the scientific community is somewhat split on the subject. But this is what most neurologists, linguists and language acquisition specialists agree upon:

Yes, we do pick up vocabulary from what we hear and what we read. If you listen to another 180 Robb Wolf's podcasts, you will pick up most of his vocabulary and his intonations too. This is how our brain works.

It is a built-in device and there is nothing you can do... Actually, you can - don't listen to Robb Wolf's podcasts. Listen to Shakespeare or, if worse comes to worse, Emily Dickinson.

I watch Colbert Report every day. My vocabulary is definitely growing, but I have a hard time not addressing others as "nation" and I am definitely more cynical then I used to be. But I don't really mind :)))

I also watch Korean dramas and once in a while I say something in Korean that nobody around me understands. Just saying.


The mechanics of it is internalizing the language once you get enough comprehensible input. We internalize the words we hear over and over, as well as emotional phrases first. Swear words and other emotional expressions do not need to be repeated more than once or twice.


When teachers correct enough papers with spelling mistakes, their own spelling gets worse. We pick up things from people around us no matter whether we look up at them or not.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 13, 2013
at 06:22 PM

It does sound very conceited and presumptuous. I hope there is somebody here with a Ph.D in linguistics, brain and language development. So I can be wrong.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on February 13, 2013
at 06:03 PM

"not trained enough to answer" How conceited and presumptuous of you.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on February 15, 2013
at 06:23 PM

Henna dyes are way too red for my skin tone, even the shades that are called brown. :/

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 14, 2013
at 05:09 AM

though. Plus your new profile picture is SO CUTE!!!

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on February 14, 2013
at 04:17 AM

Seems like most people are answering, and are agreeing with you. It doesn't take a genius, or training, to figure this out or to read articles or books about it. You don't need to be able to write a thesis on the neurobiological wiring contributing to the assimilation of language to answer the OP's internet forum question.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 13, 2013
at 10:43 PM

Very good points. Akin to learning a new language, constant exposure is as good as anything for learning. When new words adopt meaning as opposed to being just a translation, you end up blurting them out when you least expect them.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on February 15, 2013
at 03:11 PM

Why be uneasy? It's fun to speculate and toss ideas back and forth, even if we never completely figure it out. It doesn't mean that we have to accept any ideas we come up with as final or as scientific gospel. and.... thanks! I just took it the other day after I dyed my hair (I know, I know, NOT PALEO!) :)

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 14, 2013
at 04:08 AM

@MathGirl - I re-worded my answer so it sounds more politically correct. But the truth remains the same - most people are not trained enough to answer. It is not common knowledge.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 14, 2013
at 05:08 AM

Luckie, the whole language issue is very complicated. Despite tons of research, most specialists know very little on the subject. I was trained extensively, but I have to admit that what I know is just the top of the iceberg and even that is mostly hypothetical. Since this an area of my expertise I wish I kind of feel uneasy about the whole question. I wish the question would be "what lingo do you pick up from other Paleo gurus" or something like that. Because "why do people pick up words from others" is a Ph.D. research topic that needs another 100 years to finish. I appreciate your kindness

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 15, 2013
at 06:09 PM

Try Light Mountain - it is totally natural and I think even Paleo! :)

2
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on February 13, 2013
at 04:17 PM

"Because I (you..we) want to fit in." - Patrick Bateman

1
3fc95bca9e723edfbbb72b172798ab49

(1354)

on February 13, 2013
at 10:27 PM

I picked up the habit of calling groups of older people "folks" from a speech and communications class I took my freshman year in uni. The elderly women we would speak to would snap back if you referred to them as "you guys".

1
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 13, 2013
at 06:53 PM

I've never listened to Robb Wolf, so no.

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 13, 2013
at 06:47 PM

I started using 'folks' a while ago. I did listen to Robb's podcast (maybe a dozen or so episodes, so it might have been that... I use it more in writing then verbally though.

1
949d4d02ea7d1abd714cc3347c2c6854

on February 13, 2013
at 05:30 PM

I still pronounce the long "I" in "civil'i'zations" due to seven years of watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, and that show's been off the air for 19 years. I don't think we can help copying the things we hear.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on February 13, 2013
at 05:56 PM

Shatner, probably the worst voice-coach to learn from lol. He and Christopher Walken have some of the strangest speech cadences.

0
3b031bce7c181c10452ee202e2b54dc6

on February 13, 2013
at 05:36 PM

It has to do with the psychology of the brain. Just know that it is built from the lizard brain and even smaller. Understanding this is the ley to controlling who you are. Understanding how simple the brain is like mimicking and searching for patterns will help you know why.

It's hard to explain, but through a few readings on the subject and watching some TEDtalks, you could probably start to understand the concept which I am by no means a master of.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 13, 2013
at 05:57 PM

Actually, it has nothing to do with the lizard brain. :)

3b031bce7c181c10452ee202e2b54dc6

(803)

on February 13, 2013
at 11:26 PM

right, not directly. I was merely trying to convey that our brains are easy to trick due to this foundation. Therefore, if we tend to here a term or phrase, in this case, "folks" we tend to start incorporating it. Just as we tend to mimic the dress styles or actions of those around us like members of a club, example fraternities and sororities. The same goes for the TV shows we watch. what we expose ourselves to is going to affect how we interpret the world based on the past "experiences" It all has to do with evolution

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 14, 2013
at 04:14 AM

Oh, then I misunderstood. I was taught that our language centers are located where our music center is in the brain. As far as I recall it is frontal cortex. But I could be wrong.

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