Retrospect: Pop culture: 70s language, part1

Self-tutoring about people and events from the past: the tutor continues about language from the 70s.

During the 70s and first half of the 80s, I lived in the Maritimes and Newfoundland, where perhaps popular culture took longer to penetrate than in many parts of North America. Some sayings I read about now, as being from the 70s, I don’t recall from then, but instead from the 80s.

I think the most obvious case of a saying that is said to be from the 70s, but I learned about in the 80s, is What it is. Interestingly, I think I learned What it is from the hit TV show Miami Vice, which ran from 1984 to 1989.

As I understood, What it is was an inversion of “What is it?”, so was stated, but yet meant a question. At the same time it served as a greeting.

I think I still heard “What it is” in the early 90s, but not since. However, Miami Vice defined much in popular culture while it ran. Such a phenom can take casualties with it when it goes away.

I think I can still hear Crockett (played by Don Johnson) saying “What it is, my man.”


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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