Tuesday, July 19, 2005

"I Googled It!"

Strange verbs are making their way into English vernacular, and I just thought I'd post about it. Because it's SO weird, isn't it? I know it's not really a new topic anymore; I mean, we've had "blog" and "google" for a while. But just take a minute and really think about it. You could be reading anything, and if you don't understand a word, you can google it. Or if you want to look at an aerial photo of your house, you can google the address. Or your friend might say, "Hey, I just met this really cool guy; I think I might like him." And you could reply, "Google him."

"Blog" works the same way. You could be talking with your friend on the phone about something really interesting, and you could say, "Hey, I'll have to blog that later." Or you might be furiously typing on your computer, and your dad would ask, "What are you doing?" And you would of course answer, "Blogging."

The one I've heard lately comes from the word "text," as in words that are written or typed. Cell phones get full credit for this one. You might hear phrases like, "I'll text you later." Or, "I'll text that to you." Or the usage I've heard lately: "She was texting him." Weird.

So if you, dear readers, have heard of any other crazy noun/verb monstrosities out there in our technological world, let me know. Write a comment about it.

This brings me to another thought, though. Do you like these weird additions to our language? I called them monstrosities, but are they really? I tend to be very formal and traditional -- I don't usually like using nicknames; I like calling people by their full names; I don't like hearing people pronouncing words incorrectly, and I'm so embarrassed when I do that; and I usually don't like contemporary books, design, and music. But for some reason, I like this new transformation of language. I like this new flexibility and relaxed quality to speech. Maybe it's just easier and faster to say, "I'll google that" instead of "I'll look that up." But I think it just levels the verbal playing field. Perhaps it will force people to cut back on the stuffy arrogance that sometimes accompanies "big" words. And maybe this phenomenon just reminds us that language is often inadequate and ambiguous -- even standards like "good" and "pretty" and "love" and "death." So if those words don't always mean what we want them to or think they do, why can't we use words like blog, google, and text?

4 Comments:

Blogger Blake said...

Hasn't the English language always transformed through new technologies? Granted, the internet may be accelerating the overall rate but I think Americans have always done this.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Jason said...

I hate "words" like blog, google, and texting. Lazy, boring . . . but I guess if they're inspired by the internet, then they fit just perfectly.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

These new words are more specific and necessary to a new technological world. C'mon. What other words or phrases can you use if you are "texting" somebody? That's exactly what you are doing. Why say, "I'll write her a message on my cell phone and send it to her" when you can say, "I'll text her." Evolving worlds need evolving language. It's a cycle. We don't use ye olde english words anymore; there are a lot of words (which, by the way, A LOT is a relatively new term and we ALL use it.) that are irrelevant to our world and we don't use them. So we have room for new ones. It's not about liking the fact that we have these new terms. It's not negative or positive. It just IS. I could go on...

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is how I found Blake...I googled his name! He is big time now!

C. Lawson

9:14 AM  

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