What’s The Good Word?
(Advice: Never stand next to a Mime. You might end up as collateral damage or, even worse, you might get stuck inside that invisible box that all Mimes seem to have.)
I like to use words when I write. When I write without words the page looks like something that often results in one of those mandatory 10 day holds for diagnosis. At least that is what my page looks like. Other people can do the same thing and everybody calls it “Art.”
Using words can be tricky. If you use the wrong word your intended meaning gets distorted or lost. I have that happen a lot. I call that a “Blog.” I once used an excessive number of wrong words and it ended up as a 72 page research paper for an undergraduate class. I just kept on writing and my professor took it wrong, calling it a serious academic work about Woodrow Wilson. Go figure.
Another big problem with words is that meanings change over time and if you don’t keep up with the language it results in miscommunication and maybe a lawsuit.
(I still think that the definition of “Slander” needs to be firmed up.)
Just the other day I read an article about words and how their meaning can change over time.
An example: CLOUD.
We all know what that word means – today. The original word was “Clud,” meaning “Hill” or “Mass of Rock.” The related word “Clod” still shares that older meaning. People looking skyward saw shapes that resembled those “Cluds” and adopted the word to mean those fluffy piles of water vapor. The meaning has gone from Down to Up.
The word “Travel” has us going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house, but it is a variation of the word “Travail” that we know means hard work, and, further back, to the Latin “Trepalium” which was a Roman instrument of torture. How did the Romans know what travel through the Dallas Airport would be like? Travel is a travail that can quickly descend to the level of torture – and probably lost luggage.
Of course, not all words that change meanings have such a pedigree. Some changes happen right before your eyes…er, make that, Ears.
The first example of that which pops into my mind comes from Television. We have all heard the Networks hyping their new Sit-Coms and Reality Shows. “Coming up on Thursday will be a new episode of the “Smash Hit” program whatever.” “Smash Hit?” In the world of Television a “Smash Hit” can be any show that isn’t cancelled before the second commercial.
I’ve always thought that the word “Smash” signified destruction and loss. In my universe “Hit” has always meant that someone was unhappy and it was going to come to blows. Ergo: “Smash Hit” means something that is broken beyond repair and somebody is gonna pay for it with a few teeth.
Yes, words. I love ‘em. I hate ‘em. I can’t live without ‘em. They might mean one thing, or they might mean something else. All I know for sure is that without them you would have spent the last few minutes staring at a blank page.
Because of these words you didn’t have to worry that people would wonder what you were thinking, sitting there staring at an empty space. Doing that tends to scare people and they become speechless.
You have my word on it.