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Another writerly question

My characters can be real characters sometimes, and so they don't think in perfect English (one no doubt doesn't think in English at all, but that's another issue). My character is contemplating going home to collapse in front of the TV, which I have her referring to as "the tube." And now I'm think that's horribly dated. But I don't know any other slang terms for the television (that aren't a bit insulting to it, anyway), other than "telly", and my character is most assuredly not British.

Suggestions?

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( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
scrollgirl
Apr. 28th, 2010 06:11 am (UTC)
Hmm. I can't remember the last time someone I know used slang for the television. (I mean, other than "boob tube" and "the idiot box", which I'm assuming you've already rejected.) My friend pocky_slash calls it teevee--or, well, that's how she spells it. But I'm assuming your character is just talking, not chatting online. Sorry I'm not more help!

Btw, did you disable comments on DW on purpose? I was about to comment over there and realised I couldn't!
masqthephlsphr
Apr. 28th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
I don't want comments in two places, but if I added a line with links telling folks to comment on LJ, they'd also appear in my LJ entry....
cactuswatcher
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC)
"the flat screen" if you want her to be up to date. Picture tubes are a bit passé, but I don't think the term "the tube" is yet.
masqthephlsphr
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:14 pm (UTC)
I need a casual slang term, not a synonym.
cactuswatcher
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
That's about as casual as it gets for now.
masqthephlsphr
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)
Ironically, my poor graduate student character probably doesn't have a flat screen TV, she has a conventional TV, and probably an older model.

Which has CRT tubes in it, right?
cactuswatcher
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
Yep.

I think you are over thinking it. "The tube" or "the TV" would do just fine. Have her slang be more up to the minute elsewhere.
masqthephlsphr
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)
It doesn't jump out to us old-timers, but she's 25 years old in the year 2010, and it might be glaring to someone of her age.
cactuswatcher
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
Then refer to what she watches. Have her collapse in front of the news, her cop shows, her dance programs, her cooking shows, whatever.

Hell, when I was 25 and in grad school, I had no time to collapse in front of the TV. After my PhD exams, it was a different story. ;o)
masqthephlsphr
Apr. 28th, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC)
I watched soap operas. Including one or two of those hideous prime-time ones that were so ubiquitous in the mid-80's. The cheese got my mind off the Heavy stuff of studying.
masqthephlsphr
Apr. 28th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
You have to be careful with *direct* references to TV shows or musical acts by name, because those date even faster than terms like "tube." I've gotten to the point where I go the Whedon route of just making up names so no one can say, "Uh, Nancy, no one her age would listen to/watch that/that's not even around anymore."
cactuswatcher
Apr. 28th, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC)
You definitely don't want to name shows. But, cops shows have been around since I was born and so have soaps and cooking shows. Hospital shows almost that long. Chances are they'll still be around for awhile longer.
ponygirl2000
Apr. 28th, 2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
I think being more specific is a good idea, as it would give the reader a sense of her state of mind and tastes - I definitely look to cooking shows if I want to be soothed, cop shows if I want a bit more alertness.

I was thinking that with a lot of my friends (though we are somewhat older than 25...ahem) if we say "I crashed out on the couch" it's just assumed that the tv is on as well.
dherblay
Apr. 28th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
I still refer, as I assume children as young as fifteen or sixteen do, to "dialing" a telephone. Are we sure "tube" is dated?
masqthephlsphr
Apr. 28th, 2010 06:29 pm (UTC)
I am not sure at all, which is why I thought I'd throw it out there.
anomster
Apr. 29th, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
And my cell phone co. keeps offering me deals if I add a "line." When the whole point is no wire.

To Masq: I think "tube" is OK, but if it doesn't sound right to you, "TV" has that timeless quality. And w/DVDs & TiVo (can she afford TiVo?), you don't have to limit her to contemporary shows. She could even watch Buffy!
masqthephlsphr
Apr. 29th, 2010 04:48 am (UTC)
Hah, I don't think she can afford cable.

; D
spiletta42
Apr. 29th, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
I'm not convinced "the tube" is dated beyond usefulness, but I also can't recall the last time I heard that particular term.

Depending on the personality of the character, you could have her name her television, and reference spending the night couch-camping with Fred, or something along those lines. This is assuming I'm not completely alone in naming my appliances.
masqthephlsphr
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC)
No, I don't think you're the only one. Although I only name inanimate objects "Bessie", and only if they barely work anymore.

This character, though, would never give an inanimate object a name. I think I have come up with an alternative to "tube", though.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )