July 10, 2009


As My (Air) Guitar Gently Weeps....

Those who invented this wondrous language of ours must be rolling over in their collective graves. That's not an earthquake; it's the rumble of the masters.

You may have noticed a couple of weeks back when the millionth word was officially added to the English language. Oh, you missed it? Shame. It was 'Web 2.0'. Yeah, how depressing, eh? That's not even a word.

It gets worse. The crap they're adding at warp speed sounds like an excerpt from an episode of one of those shows with all the high school kids in it. The Hills, or Prep School Perverts, or Joanie Loves Chachi or Spencer Loves Heidi or something inane like that. 'Frenemy'? Really? I'll have to call my BFF and ask if that's okay with her...

So how do they decide? Well, according to the linked article, they try to make sure something just isn't a fad. It took them 50 years to decide 'sock puppet' was here to stay. It only took me until his second term as President to realize he wasn't going anywhere.

They are very careful, it seems, with things like sock puppet. But explain to me how 'staycation' and 'webisode' make the leap in about 20 seconds. If I go through, will I find Betamax? VHS? Legwarmer? Doubt it...but they think 'staycation' is here to stay. Sure it is. But just until everyone gets back to maxing out their credit cards on the Junglebook room at Disneyworld.

'Web 2.0' is just depressing. It's not a word; it's jargon. It's an advertisement. It's lingo. It's a dork in a bad suit giving a pep talk to a boardroom full of people who are pissed that someone ate the last apple danish and the coffee is cold.

'Frenemy' is even worse. Let's see how Churchill would have used that word. "You have frenemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." How about John F. Kennedy letting it roll off his sterling tongue? "Forgive your frenemies, but never forget their names." Forget it. It only works for the humourists, like Oscar Wilde: "Always forgive your frenemies; nothing annoys them more."

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm sick of LOLing. I do not want to CUL8R. I am sick of this glorious language hemorrhaging for the sake of a soundbite or an ad campaign.

And yes, I am aware I am writing this on my blog, but I still refuse to believe that's a real word, either.

8 Comments:

Anonymous buzzwhack said...

So web 2.0 is considered a word? Our language has always been interesting and in a state of change. You want a fun book to read about our language, check out the reprint of 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. with fwd by Robert Crombie. Very interesting. Also, Partridges' dictionary of Australian and British Isles slang is great to read too.Nothing stays static long and the language is the best barometer of change in society.

July 10, 2009 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to have a jackass of a boss (heading up a company, no less) who spoke of circling back, drilling down and thinking in broadband. This was about 10 years ago and nobody understand a bloody word he said. As I reported to him I told him we had to agree that when he spoke to me he had to use english, otherwise I wouldn't/couldn't understand a bloody word he said. I don't miss him, he got fired. ha ha lololol

July 10, 2009 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

p.s. we decided he had a small penis and that's why he used all that jargon.

me again.

July 10, 2009 5:35 PM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

Anon,
Be careful. Penile intensity is not related to jargonistic proclivity. I mean look at me. I am all the way back at Web 1.1 and no one has offered to boff me or my sandals and socks. Does that mean that reverse osmosis simply doesn't work? I think not. Does my lack of jargonistic endowment imply other bits will compensate?

God, apparently, DOES have a sense of humour.

July 11, 2009 12:24 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

I wonder if TMI is in the book...

July 11, 2009 12:29 PM  
Blogger Chris Brown (not the felon) said...

Probably not. But self-deprecation is. If they're not laughing with you they're laughing AT you. And all that pointing and stuff is just nasty.

July 11, 2009 12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if Chris Brown may be my former boss?

Anon

July 11, 2009 1:57 PM  
Blogger Nursedude said...

Hmmm here in Cobourg we have a "frink". In the summer it will be a fountain, in the winter a well used outdoor skating rink by the harbour.

July 14, 2009 2:11 PM  

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