I was growing up, it wasn’t uncommon to hear people refer to pants
as trousers or slacks. Both of the words have almost disappeared
from use, and certainly are far from every day terms.
not a matter of the words shifting in meaning. Doesn’t seem to
be a case of new words taking over. People just don’t use the
word trousers these days.
is a such a word. For another, we don’t see that many rapscallions
around anymore. (Well… to be fair… I think we are seeing more
rapscallions than ever. We just identify them differently.)
a lot of this is perfectly normal stuff. We all go through waves
of using certain words. And often that isn’t just reflected in
what an individual says, but how groups phrase things as well.
Different level, still it’s not all that different than the reasons
we have different languages, or even why groups that speak the
same language can have completely different words that sound absolutely
foreign to others.
Pop. Tonic. Seltzer.
think a good chunk of it involves the way we communicate. Something
like Twitter… with its character limits… rewards dropping vowels
and selecting shorter words. But I’m not looking to investigate
whether or not we just don’t want to deal with typing out longer
words because we’re lazy or drawn to simplicity.
say thinking about it is all for naught, but just typing that
out got me thinking about naught. I think I still hear it being
used. But I don’t know that I still hear it being used.
I got my driver’s license, I seem to remember my grandmother asking
if I was going to be out gallivanting. It has definitely been
quite some time since I last gallivanted.
thirty years ago, I worked with a wonderful woman. Actually, I
worked with several. But in this case, for this woman, I’m thinking
of her today because of how much she hated the word ma’am. Hated
isn’t even in the right zip code to describe how angry she became
if you called her ma’am. I could not warn you strongly enough
to never say something like “yes, ma’am” to her. And, over the
years, I have found that many, many, many women share her feelings.
that it? Is it because someone hates the words that they are disappearing?
Maybe. But I don’t think that’s our answer.
of these aren’t terms that became popular during this trend or
that. And I’m not sure they were phased out because someone didn’t
like them. If I had to describe it, I’d say they were being used
by one generation, not so much the next, and the result was they
were never passed on to the third. Not slang of the day… not like
or dislike… just worked at one time but not so much thereafter.
The grandchildren don’t speak like the grandparents.
portion of it is probably a sense of formality for some of the
words. Armistice is a good example to show what I mean there.
From the “greatest generation” we might hear of the armistice…
born around the time of one armistice, defined in many ways by
the last times you might think of the word armistice being used.
A hundred years after the armistice, it’s a truce,
and armistice isn’t heard.
not sure where this is going, or how we even got here. But it’s
time to move along. Got some other work to do. So, I’m going to
hitch up my britches and get on my way.