Saturday, October 27, 2007

Quantum Language


For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I’m learning that a quantum version of this appears in the English language. It gets convoluted, but some words can have an equal and same reaction.

One stunning example was when Bart Simpson once said, “I never thought it would be possible but this not only sucks, but it blows as well.”

Remember back when “Bad” meant good? How about the interchange of Cool and Hot?

Is “Dirty” good or bad? I remember when being a consumer was bad. It still is, but people somehow don’t mind being addressed as so. Fred Astaire wouldn’t dare to sing about being Gay these days unless he was. I remember when AIDS was a diet pill. The change in meaning of AIDS put them out of business. Can you imagine someone going into a pharmacy and asking the person at the counter for AIDS?

Is this all double speak? How confusing this all must be to non-native speakers.

11 Comments:

Blogger Syd said...

I had forgotten about AIDS.

Cougar used to mean an animal with spots.

7:13 AM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

I was struck by the use of "sick" as good.

A cougar still is an animal--a horny, middle-aged animal

8:00 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

It was a new one on me so I consulted Syd's vast reference library, The Urban Dictionary

I bet you learned that from Trop, hehehe.

Lori, Are you on the prowl or have you settled in for a while?

8:06 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

LOL used to mean "lots of love" when closing a written letter.

Now, it has a different meaning entirely.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Columbiacontrolfreak said...

I remember when someone Queer was just weird.

I also remember when only racists used the word nigger. When I lived in north Portland the black kids used it all the time. The first time I heard someone yell,"Hey Nigger!" my head whipped around so hard I strained a muscle, but it was just one kid getting another's attention. To me it's a nasty word no matter what color the person is using it.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

All the more reason to avoid socializin'!!

1:27 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

The new meaning to language that really gets me is the word "word." (And I meant to type that twice.)
I hear kids say this word all the time.
Check Urban Dictionary for that one!

1:47 PM  
Blogger Auntie said...

My boss told me just yesterday that he said the word "cool" to his two teen sons the other day when seeing a tricked out hot rod. Both boys chastised him and said "dad, no one uses the word cool anymore". They said that he should either say "uber-cool" or...the newest word for something that is beyond cool: "Crispy".

I think they are fucking with him, but he swears its in a song that they listed to all of the time and that they use it. Now, I love my boss, but he can be very very easily fooled and usually falls for about anything Auntie throws his way - much to the comedic gratitude of co-workers..he just simply is fun to pull pranks on.

I still believe his boys are messing with his head and waiting for just the right moment for him to say something is "crispy" in public so they can laugh at him....! Anyone with teens ever heard of this one on either side of the border?

2:42 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

You are all such cunning linguists.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Auntie Rosa said...

I was shocked to find out the word "gullible" has been removed from the dictionary.

12:13 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Too funny Auntie Rose, too funny.

5:42 AM  

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