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In plain (ok, slang) English by “sharking” Anders means Maria is playin’ ‘im. He also is giving away his attitude that he didn’t think she was as smart as she is. I get a lot of shit for talking in Philly dialect, too. People underestimate you when you have a working class accent/dialect, as Anders underestimated Maria. Her calling him out on being pretentious in his manner of speech doesn’t mean she isn’t capable of understanding those “difficult” words.
I think it means the same as what people on the internet mean by “trolling
the idea that she is only showing him the “fin”, but then gets a face ful of SHARK!
also: anders hand expressions are priceless.
It’s not just the dialect Sarah, its the fact that even those of us who’re from right over the bridge can’t always understand what you’re saying when you speak Philly.
Also, I totally agree with you that the Philadelphia dialect is more than an accent, having enough of its own rules and vocabulary to constitute its own subset of the language, rather than a grouping of inflections and differences in pronunciation.
But I don’t think you need a hard-on to do it, like Jeph said in the newspost for that comic:
“Sharking is a real term we coined at Emerald City a while back. It is basically an excuse to poke people at critically inappropriate times. Use at your own risk.”
Where I come from, sharking is one of the prohibited activities between college Student Orientation Advisors and incoming students. It has been described as:
1) Selecting a particularly good-looking person of the preferred gender…
2) Taking a running start and sliding up behind that person on your knees…
3) Chomping selected person on their ass, shark style.
Not to shark Rene or be a shark or nothin’, but I have to say that I’m still not diggin’ Maria’s accent. I can understand what she’s saying but sometimes it takes a little too long for me to decipher it and I think it takes away from the overall effect of the dialogue – which is always so witty and good.
I think it’s worth bringing up again because it’s the only criticism I have with a comic I stumbled across and had to read from start to finish in one sitting. :]
(Also, go Maria – knock Art School Idol Anders off of his high horse!)
Incidentally, the answer to Maria’s question is: because languages aren’t centrally designed, they’ve evolved over time. When multiple words have a similar meaning, they’ve generally evolved independently in different contexts to meet similar needs. A cook adds ‘salt’ to a dish, but a chemist (who uses many different salts) has to refer to “sodium chloride”.
Of course When slang (like ‘sharking’ or cultural references (“It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings”) get introduced things become even more complicated.