It's Monday but we're sort of half in and out of the holiday still. Tomorrow will start with the 6:30 am alarm and life might seem 'normal' again. I didn't get to read as much over the holidays as I'd hoped, so I'm feeling a little out of that loop too. But I'm always conscious of words. Our English language is ever changing. It should be. It's a living thing, after all. New words are invented with, well, inventions. Old ones become dusty and forgotten. I have my own pet peeves about words. I'm not sure I like how texting abbreviations are infiltrating other forms of communication, including everyday speech. It also seems to me that standards for usage and punctuation are largely ignored. They're there, already.
Possibly 'hear' and 'here' will become interchangeable? But I'm not thinking about that.
This morning I'm thinking of everyday speaking. What is your favorite affirmative? For instance, my number one is, "excellent." (Thank you, Montgomery Burns.) It came about because after nearly a decade of living in California I decided to train myself not to answer with "cool." It was harder than you might think.
What's your word? What it was before? Before that? Do you know when/why it changed?
It doesn't really matter in the grand scheme. But it's a good exercise to think about these little evolutions in communication. I'd like to know about yours. We might learn something.
That said, I'd like to pose an exercise. Substitute other words for your fallback. Yes indeed, this is the nerdiest thing I've asked you to do so far. Maybe.
So what? Your brain is fat and needs the exercise. Mine too. It got lazy over the holidays and might need a little poke in the Broca's.
So substitute another word for your usual fallback. Each time I'm inclined to say "excellent," I'll choose "splendid" or "transcendent" or "exemplary." Or something else that pops up. Which probably won't happen without a little practice, because I'm not quick in that way.
But even thinking of a synonym after the fact is exercise. More like a secret isometric under your desk sort of thing, but some exercise is better than none, even if you've had a candy bar.
I'll try it. Will you? I know. It's a little thing. But then, most of our days are made of little things. Why not this one?
Have an ex...quisite day.