An Ethnography of “Yo”

May 17, 2005 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

On a typical night, I have become accustomed to hearing various shouts and other…um noises outside my window. “Hey Yo!” is the most common. The response comes from 5 apartments down…”Yo, What?”.

Not too bad, until you consider 40 people on a street all yelling “Yo!” at once and somehow instinctively keeping track of which “Yo!” was meant for them, and what the response is inferring…as far as I can tell anything from yes, come here, call me, pay attention, to cool!

You probably have to actually hear this symphony of simultaneous “Yo’s” to actually understand my indredulity. But I’m getting better at it. I was able to follow one particular conversation the other night that went something like this: “Yo, he call you out, you wanna see?” Answered across the street, “Aw, yo, yo! aw man, we havin’ fun.”

Ok, It’s still a little Greek to me.

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Entry filed under: New York Life.

And She Shall Have Music… Serenity

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