I wonder if languages other than English are as susceptible to sudden passions for new usages as English is. I know French has its little fads and ever-changing new slang; I remember years ago a French tutor at ANU coming back after visiting her homeland for the first time in ages and telling us disgustedly how her young relatives would finish a discussion about arranging a social event or meeting with the word, 'D'ac', which was short for 'D'accord' - 'Okay', (or 'Okay?', in some circumstances, I suppose).
Anyway, this tendency in English seems to be ever-increasing. The only good thing about it is that, almost as quickly as the new fads appear, they vanish. But, while they're here, they are so exremely annoying. Just at the moment the ones that are really setting my teeth on edge are:
1. 'Back in the day'
2. 'What's not to like'
Three is the one that's completely maddening me, to be honest, as it seems to be filling what wasn't a gap. 'She has the smarts to manage the job', I presume means 'She's capable enough to manage the job', so why create this new way of saying it that vaguely suggests she's got a skin complaint?
PS In the department of why didn't I think of it, @ClintonDucas has suggested that other horror, 'no-brainer', which conjures such vivid and unpleasant images and is somehow so coarse, dismissive and impatient that I have to admit it's the worst of the current crop.
Friday, 27 September 2013
In case I gave the impression the other day that all Melbourne's buildings are faceless, I thought I'd better upload some evidence to show that that is not the case. It must be said, however, that the faces you do see on Melbourne's buildings tend somewhat towards the uniform, (bar the kangaroo, of course). At some stage in the nineteenth century, it appears that a rather plain, fat-faced woman cornered the market in decorative-faces-for-the-outside-of-your-house modelling, together with her friend, a depressed - or possibly angry - man with a fairly impressive beard, (provided you are impressed by beards, which, I have to admit, I'm not):