Monday, September 16, 2013

If I were in charge of the words...

 The continued failure of the English language to shape itself exactly to my needs is beginning to exasperate me.

Take, for example, the word "slut."  Used as it commonly is, these days, it has a wealth of synonyms:  hussy and 'ho to name just two.  I much prefer the meaning "slut" carried in Shakespeare's time, when it signified a woman who was frouzy in her personal habits, who wasn't sleeping around but who could do with a bit of a wash.  When my mare dumps her water buckets into her bedding at a horse show, stirs until her bedding resembles oatmeal, and then lays down in the mess with her head pillowed on a nice fresh pile of green horse manure, and I say, "Sarah, you slut," the people whose horses' stalls neighbor mine look at me strangely.  When I explain that I am using the Shakespearean definition of "slut," they look at me more strangely still.

Alas.  But one does become accustomed.

 I missed watching the VMA live, as it's really not my thing, but when I saw all the fuss the next morning I called up Miley Cyrus's performance on You Tube.  I like to stay abreast of matters of national importance.  Yep, appalling, but what was this word everyone was throwing around?  "Twerk?" Sounded interesting.  Sounded  like it should be either a cross between a twit and a jerk, or, even better, the sort of tweet you'd send to someone who was being a twit and a jerk.  "That twerk."  "He was so annoying I sent him a twerk."  Useful, yes?

But no.  Before I slipped that one into my everyday speech I looked it up, and good thing.  Honestly.  A perfectly good word gone to waste, and not even Shakespeare to save me.