Words You Used To Say

Back when we had our retail shop located in the outskirts of Reading, we used to joke about how people would come in looking for something and call it by a name that only they knew what it meant…

“Hi, is there something I can help you with?”
“Yeah, I’m looking for a twistyopper.”
“Excuse me?”
“You know,” (makes a gesture implying using a small tool) “a twistyopper.”
“…”

We had a single aisle that had all manner of small hand tools, so we defaulted to sending people there if we couldn’t figure out what it was they were looking for…

As it turns out, I’ve started making up words for things that probably don’t make sense to other people…I realized this morning that, when I call something “clicky clack,” people don’t understand that I’m talking about Instant Messenger…admittedly, a good part of my vocabulary is made up of outdated phrases and verbal antiques…I have to catch myself before calling any group of people “you cats,” though I have let “dig this” and “catch this” loose a few times on the air…

I’m a fan of The Angry Grammarian, a regular column in Philadelphia Weekly, where Jeffrey Barg takes on word-related blunders…in this week’s installment, he discusses how certain dictionaries are quicker to adopt new words than others…if “DVR” and “crunk” can be official dictionary words, why shouldn’t your own additions to the English language be accepted into the mainstream?…

Are there words that you say that aren’t necessarily part of your local dialect that you have simply incorporated into your own speech?…how do others respond if you use those words in passing?…

Maybe we can start a collection…
E.

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~ by E. on October 17, 2008.

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