Much like the infamous Legally Blonde quote when Elle is making her Harvard Law admissions video:
“I’m comfortable using legal jargon in every day life. [hears whistling], I object!”,
I have found that on many occasions lines, titles from songs or popular catch phrases come tumbling out of my mouth before I have a chance to stop myself.
This morning my Aunt mentioned that her body clock is out of whack due to a couple reasons. There was the daylight savings time change last weekend and that would not be so bad on its own but she is also a nurse who has been working some overnight shifts of late. When I was responding to her musing I asked “When is your next day off that you can just sleep all day?” It flowed so well, so easy to type. I was hitting the comment button before it even registered what I was saying but this got me thinking yet again about pop culture and the influence it has on our speech.
(Is there a support group called “People who like using titles of Jason Mraz songs in everyday speech”? Perhaps I should start one. I guarantee I could recruit this cool chic. Probably this one, or this one too. And I am quite sure there are others lurking out there.)
But I digress…
I have written about this before, last year when my five year old nephew called me Auntielicious I decided to delve into this very topic. Now I want to know, where does it end? Is there no stopping us?
Over the past week I have seen more Axe hair product commercials using the latest catch word “gelmet” than I care to admit. The word means a hairdo that is so over gelled it is sticky-shiny looking, hard and will not move, much like a helmet. The word is so new and hip that MS Word is telling me it is misspelled and suggesting I go with ‘gimlet’ instead. Perhaps Word should automatically link up with the Urban Dictionary since words are turning over so fast and furious that they will send a new one to your Inbox daily if you choose to sign up. Yes, daily; 365 new pop culture words a year to further dumb down society.
Cover songs, the twelve installments of the Friday the 13th movies, leg warmers, yoga, song sampling and an ever growing list of revived things prompts me to ask if anyone has an original thought or idea these days? Words and phrases that are here one day and gone the next, only to be revived when it is appropriate to go “old school”. Geez, even old school is old school now. What are the kids saying these days; I can not seem to keep up.
I pride myself on being original -- a person who does what she wants, writes what she wants, thinks how she wants -- but how much of me is actually unique when I find myself uttering pop culture crap all over the place so often? Have I fallen victim to the mass media marketing vehicle and become another of its unsuspecting cult members or do I simply use available jargon to emphasize my own, distinctive points?
In order to stay true to myself and continue to develop the not so usual personality inside, I have been writing a lot of poetry lately. I read David’s blog the other day and he mentioned something similar which made me smile knowing all of us writers tend to go through cycles. I like the prose cycle, it helps me work out a lot of the questions that bounce around the corners of my brain in the fewest possible words. In case anyone missed it, I tend to be fairly loquacious most of the time so poetry is my way of describing in a couple hundred words what would have taken me 2000 when written as a story. And it is a rare thing indeed to find even one word of slang in my prose. How do you like them apples?
So in the spirit of my resurgence of poetic proclivity I am assembling a book of the stuff. To really make the project unique I have asked my Mom to share some of her photography so we are going to be going at this project together. Her photos will inspire my words and vice versa. I have a lot of projects going on in the realm of words these days from this blog to Green Leaf Reviewer to a very character driven novel that is ambling along nicely but this collective of the visual world as seen through my Mom’s pictorial eye and my take on the world as read in verbiage is probably the most exciting project I have worked on in many years.
And not a single hint of pop lingo will be present.
So put that in your pipe and smoke it.