Thursday, May 13, 2010
Stick a fork in me
Brilliant new words or precise phrases can enter our vocabulary, but often our language gets lazy and goes adrift. Sometimes bad grammar becomes commonplace due to pop culture such as the preposition at ending questions as to where something is. Titles can be arbitrary. A wife carried her husband's name as Mrs. J. Whoever, and young unmarried girls were formally addressed as Miss. When my children were old enough to start calling me Mom - and I dearly love that beautiful name that I happily carry - I was still a mother. Now young women with children refer to themselves as a mom, single, or working, or stay at home, obviously feeling the need to further define themselves. Where did the mothers go! One word in particular has been more and more overused, as far as I am concerned, the universal substitution for completed, finished, over, ended. That word is done. I guess I think of it in terms of a verb in the conjugation of to do or as it relates to cooking and preparation, and less as an adjective, but it is everywhere, used as if it is the proper choice. When I cringe at such a use I have to remind myself of all the wrong words and phrases I have unwittingly slipped into saying.