Like, Whatever!

In many ways, like is one of the most, well, disliked words in the English language. There are few words which are more synonymous with the perceived decline in ability to use English effectively among native speakers. How better to imitate lazy, inarticulate teenager than by peppering your speech with a few like‘s?

However, I have to ask: is like really so bad?

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Overpowered by Funk

Marge, when kids these days say “bad,” they mean “good.” And to “shake your booty” means to wiggle one’s butt. Permit me to demonstrate…  – Homer Simpson

What do you think of when you hear the word funk? Possibly music, with a particular catchy, sexy kind of grooviness. Or perhaps not necessarily music, but something else with a similar kind of cool. You might also be thinking of the 1970s at the same time, but funk of course is truly timeless.

You may, however, think of a smell. Not just any smell, but one so overpowering, so ripe, so pungent that it’s completely repulsive. Old blue cheese wrapped in a dirty sports sock on a hot summer day kind of repulsive. That could certainly be described as funky. But why would we use the same word for two such different things? Continue reading

Swag – Don’t it Make You Feel Old?

Do you have swag? Of course you do. You’re with it, you’re hip, you’re cool. You’re well aware that swag is the latest cool word among fashionable young people like yourself, and you know that it’s an uncountable noun that refers to a fashionable manner and accompanying manner. Unsurprisingly, it’s an abbreviation of swagger.

And do you know what? Swag makes me feel old. Continue reading