I fall in love too easily. With words and phrases, that is. Maybe it’s because I’m a copywriter, but I don’t think so…
What I’m talking about in this post are all the words and expressions we slip slide into our everyday speech. “That guy is as dumb as a box of rocks,” when we think our Golden Retriever might be smarter than a casual acquaintance, or “Tarry awhile,” when we want someone to hang around a bit longer. In short, the things we say that add richness and color and nuance and all the other good stuff to a human interchange.
The other day, I was having lunch with a friend who thinks that all the fun is being leached out of the language. He was referring to corporate-speak, I think, which can certainly take the joy out of most everything. (Ever winced when you’ve heard someone ask, “How can we language that?”)
In the investigative spirit, I sat down with a friend and her son, Phillino, at Starbucks just a few days after this conversation. Without a huge amount of trouble, we came up with a great, if short, list. Among the entries:
• You git what you git, and you don’t throw a fit.
• Another country heard from… (Thanks to my late mom)
• You’re in a world of trouble.
• Whazzup, dude?
• He’s in deep kimchee (or doo-doo, take your pick)
• Burning the candle at both ends (Thanks to Edna St. Vincent Millay)
• No half-stepping
• Upside the head
I spent a lot of time during my formative years in Virginia and Louisiana, so I’ve got a particular love of Southernisms. One of my faves is “hissy fit,” and you don’t have one, you pitch one. As in “Mom pitched a hissy fit when she saw my new nose ring.”
O.K., your turn now. I’m fixin’ to go off and get me some lunch.