Monday, September 17, 2007

35; Meh

"The weather was rather meh." "I dunno, she was being all meh." "How was the show?"

"Meh." Adjective. Source unknown. 1. A feeling of slight dislike or distaste accompanied by lacklusterness or disheartening qualities. 2. Underwhelment. 3. An adjectivization of the blahs.

It could be a lack of endorphins in my diet, which translates to a lack of chocolate, which has led to a meh weekend. It could be the intense work I've had to do as an RA, being on duty three nights in a row for increasing time-shifts. Perhaps the prospect of registering ten-year olds tomorrow is getting me down. I far prefer adolescents to kids and preteens. Less civilized, sure, but easier to relate to in their particular form of decivilized nature.

So throw out an adjective. That's the way language grows, add a new word when the old ones don't work for you. However did we survive before 'groovy' and 'quadrilateral'? These are words that didn't once exist, yet surely quadrilaterals and groovy folks did.

As Calvin said, "verbing words weirds language." If we keep verbing and adjectivizing words we can come up with anything, any word to describe any thing. If that isn't hopeful, nothing is.

Some words are working too hard already, though. 'The' is exhausted. 'Cool' is rightfully tired of being over-used for a secondary meaning. Of course 'Good' is just laughing at 'Cool' for relieving the burden it's carried for so long.

Others want more use. 'Fractional' doesn't get a lot of play. Nor does 'Truncated'. And technical or scientific words have just gone on strike and only allow certain people to use them. Really it's a lot like high school cliques. The popular words get all the action, lead the lives full of action, even though that action may not be in their best intentions. Jargon words are like school clubs; you only really understand them if you hang out with them, no social butterflies amongst 'Phenomenological' or 'Quixotic'.

'Paradigm' gets around a lot, though. That word's a total slut.

And 'Meh' is a new kid. You don't even know when they showed up, took no notice, but soon you were talking with them and using them and hanging out with them. Meanwhile 'Groovy' and 'Gnarly' are trying to tempt her to smoke up with them behind the theatre. Ah, the world of etymology is a fascinating one.

Incidentally, 'Etymology'? Not getting any either. But I'll still use it, since I didn't either, and you gotta stick together like that. Maybe if I'd made friends with human beings rather than words I'd have had a better time of it.

Probably not.

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