Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Improperness: Then…and Then…and Now
When she mentioned “brother of the quill” as a definition, the “Sisters of the Quill” award was born. The phrase alone gives me shivers, and lo, Donna has bestowed this coveted award…upon me! I’m so honored to be a “Sister of the Quill!” **shiver….** Thank you so much to Donna, Sister-of-the-Driven-Quill Extraordinaire!
The whole thing got me thinking about slang words and phrases that have gone out of style. Years ago I learned it was a huge mistake to explain the colloquialisms of my own era to my children. Something about the language shift automatically caused us to switch roles. The one I mentioned was the 1980s phrase, “Gag me with a spoon.” I think my two children were maybe in 6th and 3rd grades then. I honestly thought they would giggle until they fell off their chairs or something. Instead, they horrified me by being silent for a while, as if contemplating the stupidity of my entire generation.
“A spoon? Is that possible, to gag a person with a spoon?” one of them asked.
“It would hurt,” the other contributed. “Why a spoon, I wonder?” For a moment I swear I thought one of them was going to use the word, “indeed.” Then they merely shook their heads in shared disgust.
Of course it would have been much less insulting if they had fallen out of their chairs laughing. So today’s Improper Poll question is: Do you have any favorite words or phrases from the past?