Monday, May 23, 2022

Last I checked...

The way language changes can get pretty much dizzying. No, no, no, this is not that usual diatribe on how 'hv' is standing in for 'have' and the rest of that drama about the ways of social media. (Though, yes, THAT is another of my pet peeves but I'm not harping on it this time)

Like, there was a time when 'gay' stood for being happy. Now, of course, if I said 'I am gay', hardly anyone is likely to think that I'm talking about how I'm jumping up in the morning and singing like a lark out of sheer joie-de-vivre. (What was that? THAT would make a lot of people around me unhappy? Was I talking about MY happiness or theirs?)

Of late, I find that 'huge' is out of favor. I can understand. I mean, like, 'huge' is such a small word to indicate something massive. So, quite naturally, everyone loves to say 'humongous'. Now THAT seems like something really large, does it not? Though, yeah, in time, I suppose, people will accuse me of using difficult words in my writing, making them rush to the dictionary, if I used 'huge' instead of 'humongous'. But then that is nothing new to me.

But this usage of 'inhale' for eating has me worried. Maybe it is just that I'm coming across it just now, but I see a lot of 'He inhaled a couple of burgers' and 'After inhaling a pizza...' and so on, these days. I'm apprehensive nowadays especially about eating out. I mean, how do I know that, post-Covid, it is not considered unhealthy to take off your mask totally, even for eating? And, therefore, people have developed a way to keep the mask over the mouth and push food through their nose? I have nightmares of being ejected by bouncers from a restaurant for committing the unpardonable crime of eating with my mouth instead of inhaling my food.

Though, perhaps, I am over-thinking things here. After all, these days people also devour their books, not being content with merely reading them. To think that, nowadays, people prefer chomping on their books...even what passes for my mind boggles. So, perhaps, it is just that people use nasal words for what they do with their mouths, oral words for what they do with their eyes and so on...I wish someone will let me know what people do with music these days.

To be sure, a bit of what has changed has changed because of social media. Or so I think. (Oh, NOT about the spelling, really, though that is always there.) Like, there was a time when someone puts up 'learned' arguments for why the Earth is flat and I said, "You have convinced me. Now I'm afraid of falling off the edge", almost everyone would understand that I am being ironical. Nowadays, though, you'd find a battalion of guys calling you names for being a flat-earther. So, you add a 'Not' at the end, thus: 'I am afraid of falling off the edge. Not.' Just to ensure that your irony is understood as irony and not as your scientific conclusion about the nature of the Earth.

But there is one thing, though, worthy of appreciation these days. People keep checking up things. Like, if you countered someone's opinions, they'd come across with 'Last I checked, India is a democracy and I have Freedom of Expression.' Alas, I'm so lazy that I do not periodically check on such important things like they do. (Though, yes, when YOU express an opinion that THEY do not like, they would shut you up. Those must be the times when there was a time delay in their checking process and they must have assumed that FoE was suspended for the nonce.)

Things like this 'Last I checked..'; like saying 'Sue me' when someone complains about your being late to a party...I think of them as jokes gone stale. The first guy must have used it humorously and raised a laugh. But they have been SO overused that you cannot even raise the energy to groan now about their usage.

What was that? You are getting bored with my old man diatribes? I shall stop them. Not. Last I checked, India is still a democracy and I have FoE. I'm putting you to sleep? Sue me!

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