Idiomatic and/or Colloquial Phraseology in the Zodiac Correspondence.

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Idiomatic and/or Colloquial Phraseology in the Zodiac Correspondence.

Post by Galaxie500 on January 31st 2017, 9:37 am

I've taken the liberty of assembling a brief annotated compendium of geo- or demographically specific (or otherwise unique) words and phrases used in the Zodiac letters. Corrections and contributions are welcome...

"shall"

"rather"

"you had best" - non-standard alternative to "had better."

"pulled a goof"

"death machine"

"cerous" - probably a misspelling, but possibly a portmanteau of the words serious and curious. used in chemistry to describe cerium with a valence of three.

"fiddle and fart" -to waste time or procrastinate; usage of this expression is most prevalent in (but not necessarily indigenous to) the American South.

"busy work"

"prowl car"

"clew" - Archaic British variant of clue.

"getting your rocks off" - to become sexually excited; origins of this expression are a matter of dispute, though in the context of the 1960's-1970's it was most commonly employed by young people, hippies, beats, etc.

"blue meanies" - (per wiki) a fictional army of fierce, music-hating creatures in the 1968 Beatles film Yellow Submarine; popularly used among counter-cultural elements to refer to law enforcement; sometimes used in reference to the Alameda County Sheriff's Department. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alameda_County_Sheriff's_Office)

"do my thing" - possibly a derivation of the popular '60's counter-culture slogan "do your own thing"

"crack proof"

"positively ventilate"

"deep heat" - Mentholatum rub used to treat muscle pain in the UK.

"Happy Christmas" - seasonal greeting; most commonly used in the UK.

"nasty"

"kiddies"

"swamped" (as in "swamped out") -  flooded with water; inundated (e.g., swamped with guilt)

"salt beef" - British term for corned beef. (a google search for the term "salt beef" yields 403,000 results, the vast majority of which originate in the UK.)

Frequent use of cardinal directions when recounting or describing previous events ("If you will go one mile east", "...two miles north of park headquarters...", "the girl was on her right side feet to the west", "...dogs never came within two blocks of me and they were to the west...", "...motor cicles went by about 150 ft away going from south to north west..."); preoccupation with descriptive specificity.


Last edited by Galaxie500 on February 7th 2017, 8:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Idiomatic and/or Colloquial Phraseology in the Zodiac Correspondence.

Post by Galaxie500 on January 31st 2017, 11:37 pm

Galaxie500 wrote:

...

"salt beef" - British term for corned beef. (a google search for the term "salt beef" yields 403,000 results, the vast majority of which originate in the UK.)

...

Just to give the reader an idea of what I'm talking about here...


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Re: Idiomatic and/or Colloquial Phraseology in the Zodiac Correspondence.

Post by Galaxie500 on February 1st 2017, 12:08 am

Galaxie500 wrote:Frequent use of cardinal directions when recounting or describing previous events ("If you will go one mile east", "...two miles north of park headquarters...", "the girl was on her right side feet to the west", "...dogs never came within two blocks of me and they were to the west...", "...motor cicles went by about 150 ft away going from south to north west..."); preoccupation with descriptive specificity.

This idiosyncrasy in particular merits more attention than it receives. "the girl was on her right side feet to the west" - this was written almost a year after the events being described, and yet he remembers (accurately, more or less) the position of Betty Lou Jensen's body?


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Re: Idiomatic and/or Colloquial Phraseology in the Zodiac Correspondence.

Post by ophion1031 on February 1st 2017, 3:53 am

Thanks for taking the time to do this. It's a great idea to have all of those posted because, you never know, maybe it will click in someone's head that they knew someone who used the same words and/or phrases.

For the record, I had seen some old newspaper articles from the early-mid 60's that spelled clue as "clew" as well.
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Re: Idiomatic and/or Colloquial Phraseology in the Zodiac Correspondence.

Post by Galaxie500 on April 8th 2017, 7:18 am

ophion1031 wrote:Thanks for taking the time to do this. It's a great idea to have all of those posted because, you never know, maybe it will click in someone's head that they knew someone who used the same words and/or phrases.

For the record, I had seen some old newspaper articles from the early-mid 60's that spelled clue as "clew" as well.

It was also pretty common in pulp fiction...





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Re: Idiomatic and/or Colloquial Phraseology in the Zodiac Correspondence.

Post by ophion1031 on April 10th 2017, 9:42 pm

Does anyone else think that the letter writer was an educated man and possibly a writer? I think that and words that were spelled wrong were probably intentional because nobody would think to point the finger at a writer.
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Re: Idiomatic and/or Colloquial Phraseology in the Zodiac Correspondence.

Post by WelshChappie on May 11th 2017, 7:33 pm

ophion1031 wrote:Does anyone else think that the letter writer was an educated man and possibly a writer? I think that and words that were spelled wrong were probably intentional because nobody would think to point the finger at a writer.

Well initially, especially back then in the late Sixties & early Seventies, You could be forgiven for reading the letters and concluding the spelling errors were deliberate because they are non consistent in that a word He spells correctly in one letter, He may then Misspell in the next. However, 21st century understanding of learning disabilities has advanced considerably and We now know that those who have dyslexia will often do exactly what Z did, spell something correctly on some occasions, then incorrectly other times. That's essentially what Dyslexia is, the inability to spell not so much just correctly, but consistently correctly.

And again, because of the type of World in which We live, stigma gets attached to all things that are not well understood from forms of mental illness to mental disabilities. As such, it's a sad truth that lots of people will associate the learning disability of Dyslexia with mentally slow/backward type of individual and while that can be true in some cases, it certainly isn't in many others. Some of the World's most intelligent and intellectually gifted people are known or thought to have been dyslexic, the most famous of which was Albert Einstein Himself. So, even if Zodiac were not spelling incorrectly purposely but was truly dyslexic, that would not be evidence of anything in terms of how intelligent He was.

His printing is more interesting to Me, and the question of 'Is He writing in His true freeflowing hand?' Many believe He is not and point to His writing never having been recognised and say this also points to Zodiac being a reclusive loner. However others, including experts, say it certainly is His own Natural Hand because the strokes and writing is too free & consistent with no sign of 'stop-start' hesitation as is common in the writing of those trying to disguise their hand.
I personally think that it is His normal, free flow hand printing that He is writing with, and He uses single letter print in these letters because He probably writes in joined up handwriting form in other area's or situations in His life.

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