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 Tuesday, July 26, 2005 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Campus Lingo Reflects the Culture of CU-Boulder
By Jon Leslie, Publications and Creative Services

The unique lingo used by CU-Boulder departments and groups says a lot about life on the Boulder campus. From the ITS department—where students can use ResNet to access WebCT course space and log on to CUConnect with their IdentiKeys—to Housing & Dining Services—where they can use the Munch Money on their Buff OneCards to hit the Hardrive for a latté—the wealth of unique vocabulary on campus offers many insights into the CU-Boulder community.

Buff Bulletins and other official university communications are filled with words and names that reveal the influence of institutional jargon on CU-Boulder culture. Headlines such as "Get Around Campus for Free on the Stampede" and "Maymester Hours for Alferd Packer Grill and Baby Doe's" might not mean much to someone unfamiliar with the Boulder campus, but they do contribute to a sense of shared identity among CU-Boulder community members.

Beyond institutional jargon, unique lingo has also sprung from the needs and experiences of student groups on campus. Names and phrases like "Colorado Creed," "CUnity," and "Shoulder to Shoulder" are examples of how CU-Boulder students have responded to a variety of challenging circumstances in recent years, creating new language that is influencing the university's cultural identity and re-shaping the campus community.

The CU-Boulder program in Culture, Language, and Social Practice (CLASP) is a cooperative effort among faculty from the departments of anthropology, communication, East Asian languages and civilizations, education, French and Italian, linguistics, political science, Spanish and Portuguese, sociology and speech, language, and hearing science. It explores the intersections between language, culture and society and provides an interdisciplinary forum for interested faculty and graduate students. For information about upcoming CLASP-sponsored lectures and events, visit the CLASP web page.

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