A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
I don’t speak English anymore. Apparently, for some years now, I’ve been speaking a dying dialect from the 20th century which hasn’t been English since Brad jumped from Jennifer to Jolie. (And we all know how that worked out. Just sayin’!) Anyway, I’m literally no longer literate in my own language and that upsets me. I see this as yet another stone in the Yellow Brick Road to hell that’s leading my world to extinction. Culture is tied to language, and language is the canary in any society’s mineshaft. Once the canary stops singing, it’s only a matter of time before it’s pushing up daisies. (BTW, if you caught any of those references, you probably don’t speak 21st century English, either.)
The problem is, as a linguistic dinosaur, I have no idea what half the words people use these days mean. So, for the most part, I guess. However, as the world fills up with bromances, bait-clicks, metrosexuals, and binge watching I find it harder and harder to understand what the hell people are talking about. Here are a few more of my best guesses.
Cosplay — Derived from “costume” and “play,” this word covers a range of meaning, but I believe it’s actually just a euphemism for someone whose life sucks so badly they spend their time dressing up and pretending to be somebody else.
Mansplaining — This one is very complicated. On the surface it’s a portmanteau word for a man explaining something. Dig deeper, and it’s a man explaining something in a very condescending way — usually to a woman. Dig even deeper, and mansplaining actually means some men have not yet surrendered in the gender wars and they still insist on talking about football and automobiles and other boring, technical stuff — like anybody cares about that crap.
Sideboob — “Sideboob” is one of those words that relies entirely on the speaker, and, oddly enough is not actually about boobs, at all. It’s about the dress and the woman wearing it. It illustrates our contemporary attitude towards women. It suggests that the same dress is both sultry and sleazy and that the woman wearing it is attractive, stylish and sophisticated — but probably a skank.
Askhole — Everybody asks stupid questions but me.
Snowmageddon — Our winter was worse than your winter.
Plutoed — Nobody wants me around, but I’m here anyway — and there’s nothing you can do about it.
But by far my favourite is
Screenager — This is an all-purpose word for the latest generation’s obsession with phones, tabs and computers. However, what it actually means is contemporary teenagers are all losers — why aren’t they out at the Drive-in theater, drinking illegal beer and trying to get pregnant, like we did at their age?
As we used to say, ’nuff said.