Wednesday, July 7, 2010

infra dig



: being beneath one's dignity : undignified

INFRA DIG is the abbreviated version of INFRA DIGNITATEM, the longer Latin form. Like M.O. (modus operandi) this shortened form made its way into popular culture. Or so says Merriam-Webster. I've actually never heard this supposed slang before. Are all the cool kids walking around saying Target brand mouthwash is too INFRA DIG for their taste? (thanks, Liz, for this product image in my frontal lobe) Am I missing something?

This word kinda sounds like something from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, but from the end of the movie when they were officially "learned." Intellectual slang, if you will. But the phrase also has a particularly early 90's air to its sound. INFRA DIG. I can't quite put my finger on it. I think its the shortening of dignitatem to "dig." It's so...surfer. And surfer is so early 90's. Speaking of, I just had the joy of re-watching Miracle Beach yesterday—a quintessential Cali-flick from 1992. Themes: love, greed, beach life, babes. Morals: a "money can't buy you love" story. Classic. Featuring Ami Dolenz of She's Out of Control fame.

I search for INFRA PIG and discover snouts are the hairiest and hence the coolest parts of a pig's body. And I mean "coolest" in terms of temperature, not excellence.

Excellent: also a fundamental term of the early 90's. Did Bill and Ted pioneer this adjective or just perpetuate its popularity?

I'm thinking I should consider writing my thesis on early 90's pop culture. How appropriately specific. And when I say "early 90's" I'm obviously referring to the pre-Kurt-suicide days of the decade when jeans were ripped, neon was not yet INFRA DIG, and Jim Carrey was that guy from In Living Color.

Those were the days. I'm old enough now to have permission to say that.

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