TV shows still influence the way we talk

Jessica  Rodrigo By Jessica Rodrigo

Aug. 21, 2013 at 3:21 a.m.

In between work and house hunting, soon-to-be parents Christy and Nathan Dodds spend a lot of their time watching Home & Garden TV and Food Network.

These days, their favorite shows consist of home buying and renovation shows, so instead of pulling zingers and swift one-liners from the characters brought to life by actors on popular sitcoms, they pull from the reality TV show hosts.

As a child, Christy Dodds, 23, grew up watching shows like "Little House on the Prairie," "Beverly Hillbillies" and the occasional episode of "Full House" with her two younger brothers.

"We definitely stole some of the phrases we heard and used them in everyday situations," she said.

It has been a long time since the stay-at-home mom watched the shows, but she said a lot of the jokes she and Nathan use now hail from renovation shows such as "Love It or List It."

The couple have a chance to play around with the phrases, Nathan Dodds, 23, manager of Samsung in Best Buy, said. Sometimes, he'll joke with Christy about being "chopped," just as the host Ted Allen might tell contestants on the namesake show.

When he was younger, he watched a lot more cartoons and sci-fi shows than anything else. An original Trekkie and fan of the television series, Nathan Dodds would give the his friends the Vulcan hand salute made popular by Spock and tell them to "Beam me up" or to "Live long and prosper."

Carl Bosier, 29, was a fan of the cartoons, too, and grew up watching "Looney Tunes" and "Ren and Stimpy," where he said the characters were the ones who drove the show more than the storyline.

He and his friends made references to the characters and skits such as Powdered Toast Man and Log while they played and, of course, there was the more offensive humor from the iconic cat and dog, including "You stupid eeediot!" and "Oh, joy!"

Those lines were ones that he said he and his friends shared as an expression of their interests growing up.

"The writers put (catch phrases) in there for that purpose - for us to reflect on the things we like and share those experiences," he said.

Bosier, a programmer at Aloesoft, said that bond is what helps us learn about other television shows or movies that we might be interested. If someone uses a line from a show they watch in real life, then a friend might eventually watch it, too, he said.

As television changes its direction and more shows are transformed from written scripts to more dramatic, "life-like" reality shows, viewers may take away fewer punchlines and delivered jokes from their favorite sitcom characters Bosier believes people will still pull one-liners, comments or reactions from them regardless.

"People have their quirks, and they're still quotable," he said.

While the Dodds continue their search for their perfect home, Nathan said he thinks they'll continue to forge relationships with their reality TV show hosts and sitcom characters.

"As long as people have those shows, they'll keep impersonating them," he said. "They can live through other people."

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