My feeling about the fact that he is asking these questions is an A+. I embrace the mess.
Since I don't really understand the question, here's my take on trying to measure something that's rather non-linear/amorphous/constantly evolving/impossible to pin down. Like #rhizo15.
A student was writing a story, and she wanted to say that the character was "psyched" about something, meaning excited. However, she insisted that the word was "sīced" and pronounced with a soft c - as in slīced, without the "L." Yes. Sīced.
I assumed she was simply making an error in pronunciation, but she (and several other students) explained to me
The level of
So I felt compelled to figure out how my students came to believe this.
Around the 1970's in the U.S., the term "psyched" came into common use as a way to show excitement or enthusiasm. As indicated below, its use steadily climbed through the 80's and 90's, hitting a high in the year 2000.
Shortly after that, the term "to psyche out," meaning to undermine someone's confidence, came into common parlance.
This morphed in "psyche!" Which meant "I tricked you into believing something." In his 1983 album Comedian, comic Eddie Murphy includes a skit called "Ice Cream Man," in which he taunts a friend who has no ice cream, pretends to offer him some, then yanks it away and yells, "Psyche!" (Skip to 3:50 to see that part.)
Teenagers heard the word so often without reading it that they thought it was spelled "sike." In the 90's and 2000's, this became a common spelling in student notes and written assignments in my classes. It became such a common usage that it replaced the spelling psyche entirely in most teenagers' vocabulary.Jump ahead 15 years to today. Student writing rarely uses the term "sike" to indicate tricking someone. My students are using the word pronounced "sīced" with a soft "c" to mean excited. They have no idea that it is actually spelled and pronounced psyched, or siked, or that "sike" actually did NOT mean excited, but rather, "I tricked you." And it is now spelled AND pronounced "sīced" by many teens as a result of some process of reverse-evolution.
As someone posted in Urban Dictionary:
Or you could spell "siced" wrong,Of course, since I love words, and am watching this information change in slo-mo like a train wreck, I had to see in what other ways this slang has "evolved."
There is much more to discover, but I will leave further research to you.
Other facets of the human experience? All of my students have been expelled from their home schools. They have been measured and mismeasured.
I embrace the way language changes. It fascinates me. It's when it goes terribly, erringly awry within a subset-vortex of illiteracy that I am perplexed at how to begin to start. There is no pre-test for this as it unfolds around itself.
It is a microcosmic symbol of the millions of ways life has failed so many kids.
I respect my students and their experiences. I am heart-broken that their literacy experiences are so deficient.
And I can laugh at the ridiculousness of a word being used in a permutation so far removed from Latin or Greek that it has an ugly beauty of its own.
I have to go get sīced about cooking dinner so I don't have to syce some food from the store, so please don't slice my syce.