Language is a living thing. Otherwise, we’d still be saying “ugh” and using pantomime to communicate (if we ever did in the first place). Still, some changes are technically improper English and I don’t condone them, even if I sometimes use them. Other words simply replace the terms of the previous generation; perhaps that’s why old geezers like me sometimes object. I don’t care so much for change, and I don’t always enjoy being reminded just how old I’m getting.
One word that I get tired of hearing is the term “tsunami.” Why must we always use the word from some other culture? I thought “tidal wave” was just fine. Then there’s “lanai” being used for “porch.” Now, I realize that if you’re in Hawaii, that IS the proper term. I also understand that it can be used to differentiate a hard-floored, roofed area furnished as a room and maybe even with removable wall panels. However, more and more, I’m hearing the term used for a plain old porch on any house within sight of a body of water, anywhere along the coast of the continental U.S. Get off your high horse folks, it’s just a cotton-pickin’ porch.
I notice, too, that the terms “twister” and “cyclone” have pretty-much disappeared from the American version of the English language. Every circle of wind is now called a “tornado” if the wind speed is judged fast enough. I suppose it’s because the term is of Spanish origin, thus making more politically correct.
And what about “dinner?” Everyone today assumes you mean supper when you say the word. Dinner is at or about noon, folks. That’s why those big noisy things are called “dinner bells.” They called the farm workers into the noon meal, or dinner. Now, we say lunch, which is a corruption of the French term “luncheon,” which originally meant a snack, NOT a full meal. Even worse, restaurants often serve “brunch” these days, a meal for people too lazy to get up for breakfast and too impatient to wait for dinner!
I guess I’d best shut my trap. Most of you probably feel that I’ve blathered on long enough (for those of you familiar with the term). ;-) © 2016