Two of my favorite cousins came to visit me Sunday. In the midst of a conversation that wonderfully filled several hours, at one point we passed through objectionable words. For example, I strongly object to the use of “idiot” in my home. One cousin told how her mother always said, “crap.” It was my aunt’s go-to word for several situations. My cousin refused to say it though, until recently she’s noticed (to her astonishment) that since her mother died over a year ago, she’s begun using it. Of all the ways to channel her mother, she gets, “crap.”
My teeth grind at some words that are used wrong: “That was the funnest day ever!” Steve Jobs wouldn’t have minded though. If “funnest” annoys you, you might be interested in Grammar Girl’s article.
And like my mother, if my children said, “Me ‘n Josh are going to the park,” I’d interject, “I’m sorry Josh is so mean.”
However, there are times where an improvised word suits me: the gas produced by certain vegetables and beans is called a “fluff.” As in “Who fluffed?” (I kid you not!—as a teenager my son refused to continue to call it that.) My other cousin said at her house they were “fluffies.” One day her daughter looked at the white puffs coming from a cotton-wood tree and asked her mother what they were. Without thinking, she replied, “Oh, just fluffies.” Her daughter laughed with delight.
On a related note, it’s interesting what phrases and slang words evolve through the decades of contemporary society. Recently on a FaceBook group of classmates, we were asked what words or phrases we remembered that were popular in high school? The answers ranged from “nerd” to “keep on ‘truck’n” and “gag me with a spoon.” I remembered “bite the wall.” One time a man from Japan asked, “how does one ‘bite the wall?’”
Another phrase back then was, “It’s been real, it’s been fun, but it’s not been real fun.” Often shortened to simply, “It’s been real”—said like “good-by.” A friend began saying, “It’s been imaginary, it’s been torture, but it’s not been. . .” Well, you get the idea.
Later, “awesome” had a long run of misuse that drove me absolutely bonkers. But then, I’ll probably show my decade and say “cool” until I die.
Recently I tried to find current (clean) slang for a character to say. Probably, no matter what I find online, it will be dated next month. sigh. If someone has a clue, is “sick” still “cool?”
If you haven’t seen it, check out, “There’s a Word for That?”
In the meantime, hope y’all have an awesome day, don’t fluff, and may it be funner than the last one. Me ‘n Sherlock are going to keep it real.