Going, going to death rowJanuary 02, 2017
English may be a stable language, and outsiders will believe that it won't change more. If you happen to be a student of linguistics, you'll notice that words come in and out. Think of flare pants, which were fashionable during the mid-1970s.
Words may be compared to fashion, but the editors of dictionary don't impose a limit on the number of words. There are many ways of speaking, and a new one means that certain terms become passe. English speakers of the new generation must start from scratch, where they will construct a slightly different version from the previous generation. If the object being referred to the word(s) no longer exists, then it's time to make way for a new one. Cassette will come to mind.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten must be credited with the latest addition to the dictionary. (During an election early this year, he was filmed stuffing his face with a sausage sandwich.) Democracy sausage came up, alluding to an all-time Aussie tradition. It's more of an incentive to go out to the polls (and vote), but it doesn't necessarily mean that polling booths must be lined up with barbecue grills. You must need a photographic memory and your keen sense of hearing in able to figure out which words are about to be sent to death row. Here are ten:
Floppy disk. Steve Jobs should give you a hint, but it doesn't matter if you're still clueless about it. If you happen to be a proud owner of a MacBook, then it will dawn on you instantly. There's no need to shout it out on social media, though.
CD. A film enthusiast or an ardent music fan will have that Eureka moment. If you're a vinyl collector, then there's no need to be embarrassed about it. You might have a fortune in there.
Groovy. If your grandfather grins (upon hearing the word), then you know why. The 60s hippy stuff seems like a dream, though. You'll be fine with COOL.
Bonza. If you don't know the meaning of the word, then there's no reason to worry about it. A thousand other words are synonymous to it (and being used nowadays).
Sick. It's not what you think, as Taylor Swift would croon about a sick beat not long ago. There's a good chance that this other meaning won't be used when the former country singer is no longer a marquee name.
Fiance. It rather sounds Old World, if not a bit pompous to the general public. PARTNER is more like it.
Fortnight. If you don't hear this word too often, then think about globalization. (Those who use English as a second language might be confused about it.) WEEK(S) will be more comprehensible. Besides, a mention of FORT DAYS will be lost in translation.
Twice. Many English speakers use this word, but there's a possibility that it won't be heard frequently in the coming decades. How many times have your heard THRICE? If it's not often, then your guess is as good as anyone else.
Noon. Globalization will force English speakers to use MIDDAY instead. It won't be the same case with AFTERNOON, though.
Swimming bath. Most people prefer SWIMMING POOL, which means Australia is one of the remaining nations using SWIMMING BATH. It's no different from GOING TO A PICTURE SHOW. (The younger generation prefers cinema.)
Have you been adrift all this time? It has something to do with the military, which shouldn't alarm you. It's simply the sign of the times.
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