Friday, February 24, 2012

Just Musing

Not much going on yesterday.  Down in the barn, my mind went searching for a topic, coursing back and forth like a bird dog on the hunt.  There are times when a subject arises and I mentally compose a journal entry almost in its entirety before actually writing it.  For the most part, however, they're written on the fly.  Words leap up, vying for attention.  I love Mark Twain's comment:  "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."  My mental bird dog stopped and pointed at words themselves; specifically, colloquial exclamations.

Egads and zounds (ye gods and God's wounds) appeared in the 1500s, similar to the current "OMG."  Language is not static.  It is constantly evolving (sometimes devolving, I think), and exclamations seem to be most vulnerable to change, subject to fads brought about by the youth of the era.  In my mother's heyday, the Roaring Twenties, something great was "the bee's knees," "the cat's meow (or pajamas)."  Language was sanitized in the '50s; "super-duper" being the best I can come up with.  The Age of Aquarius brought in "cool" and "far out."  I'll admit to perhaps overuse of "cool" still.  I'm glad to have missed "phat" and "bitchin'."  It seems "brilliant" has been in vogue with the Brits for a long time, and "sweeet" is a term I frequently hear now.  (Spellcheck is going to go bonkers today.)

I'm cool with that.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

So who was it that first thought that the knees of bees would be worthy of praise? Someone with an apiary and a microscope perhaps? In our house, we have wondered many-a-time who determined that clams were happy! Food for thought...hmmm...chowder and cornbread with honey maybe??