Having spent a good part of last week and this weekend listening to the news channels practically all day, the word radicalization kept popping up. This is not a word we use in our everyday conversation and so its use stood out in broadcast. Of course its use and application in this instance made it all the more prominent.
It got me thinking about another word that is used again and again in news broadcasts: Embedded. You hear this word whenever the news is about a war or war zone. It refers to a journalist or reporter who is traveling along with a platoon or regiment and he or she are embedded with the troops.
Interesting that these two words stand out to me and I am trying to think of some more words that have been co-opted into a use other than perhaps their original meaning and intent. Sadly, these two words apply to our state of the world where terrorism, unrest, war and strife are often front page news.
I grew up in the 50′s and other than listening to war stories from my Dad, I don’t remember any new words creeping into our vernacular. Well let me amend that by adding astronaut, cosmonaut, sputnik and muttnik were certainly words I had not encountered up to the point when the USSR and the USA began to race to space.
The next influx of terms and words that I remember coming into everyday use, came as a result of the Vietnam War. Napalm, Agent Orange, guerilla warfare are just a few that come to mind (it was a long time ago). Again the language of war! So sad that it is under severe circumstances that the new words appear or the old ones take on a nuance, we’ve not acknowledged before.
Of course the technology of the late 70′s and 80′s and 90′s has brought us not only words but a whole new language. Gigabytes, megabytes, micro chips, HTML, beta, VCR, CD, DVD, Tivo, hard drive, software, hardware, firewall, spam, and on and on. I know a whole blog post could be created just with the language of technology – I could start with Hi-Fi !!
Other than the slang of youth, their own mis-use and/or decision to re-invent a meaning of a word (i.e. like, random, down, sick) and so on, I wonder what other words have come into our daily vernacular? What words do you know or remember as taking on a new meaning or were or are being used on a much more regular basis? PLEASE let us all know. I just dashed this blog post off this morning without much aforethought and no research so would greatly appreciate reader input!!