or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Monday, April 18, 2011

Memory Lane

Remember when The Onion had sharp, on-the-ball writers and copy editors? Yeah, those were the days. Now we get things like this:

Don't get me wrong—I love my job and I enjoy working my ill-informed fans into a frenzy by tapping into their deep-seeded, ignorant fears of people who are different from them.

We may be losing "decimate" and "hoi polloi" (apparently a lot of people think it means "the upper crust" and not "the [common] people"), but the expression intended above is "deep-seated", and ought to remain so. (College Humor knows what's what.)


Remember when Failblog was excellent? Now they'll put up anything: you can stick a soft-core porno movie on the kids' DVD shelf at your local video store and take a picture of it and they'll post it. And they'll also post things like this:

Have we actually lost the euphemism "four-letter word" as something that means "swear word or otherwise bad thing"? Are there actually people who don't know what it means, and take it literally?

I guess so.


At least we've still got Ugliest Tattoos, where you can see treats like this:

Funny may be a matter of taste, and fails may not be what they used to be, but ugly tattoos are forever.


Blogger Perfumeshrine said...

Interesting thing is hoi polloi (literally the majority) did not originally have a negative meaning, as it was used in classical oration to contrast with hoi oligoi (the few, the oligarchy of heritage/land owning). But it then deteriorated into a negative usage synonymous of "plebs" in Roman times. Funny, no?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 1:52:00 PM  
Blogger pyramus said...

Yeah, I don't know how "hoi polloi" came to mean "the upper class", which the Slate article I referred to says is becoming more and more common. When I was growing up, it wasn't exactly on everyone's lips, but it meant only one thing: "the people", or, I guess more accurately, "the common people" (that Roman devolution you mentioned).

How nice to have a native Greek speaker commenting! Apart from recognizing a fair bit of English's considerable Greek heritage (so often filtered through Latin), I know nothing of the language, but it's good to have someone around to keep me on my toes if need be.

Thursday, April 21, 2011 9:25:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home