Sunday, December 20, 2015
Words become over used. Can a waiter or waitress take an order today without saying “Perfect!” twenty times?
“I’ll have an ice tea.” “Perfect!” “Really? ‘Cause it’s not like I’m selecting just the right wine with this entry. It’s fucking ice tea!” “Perfect! Be right up.”
There are probably a dozen other examples but…whatever.
And then there are expressions that have taken on new meanings. “Sampling” used to mean trying a variety of selections. Today in the music world it means stealing someone else's work and justifying it as an homage. You used to be able to say, “I hooked up with my sister the other day” without being accused of incest.
But my focus today is on words and expressions we use in everyday speech that have since outlived their meaning but we still use anyway. Here are a few examples.
“The tube” – a popular synonym for a television. Once upon a time there were tubes in a TV set. No longer. I guess you could call it “the chip” but I don’t see that catching on.
Good photo opportunities are still referred to as “Kodak Moments”. Kodak made film for a thousand years. Today we have “Digital Nanoseconds”.
We used to correspond with certain friends in distant locales by getting out the old Bic and writing letters. Today we email, text, or IM but still refer to them as “Pen Pals”.
Recording artists are still coming out with new “records”. That’s what they were in the old days – vinyl platters. You could even argue that CD’s are just an updated technological version. But now music is released on line (again, is there really a “line”?).
So what are other examples? It’s kind of interesting isn’t it, to stop and think once in a while about just what the hell we’re saying?
This is a re-post from four years ago.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM