Welcome, Come on in, and hope we ‘speak the same language’. . .
My words were titled “Out My Window” and this is my winter view. But the door is/was always open and my mind? Oh, my mind traveled inwardly as far as I dared, and outwardly? As near as my next door neighbor and as far as the other side of the world.
We’re getting so careful with our words nowadays that sometimes we have to figure out what’s actually being said. Or done.
Just take a few fr’ instances. No one even thinks of hiring janitors anymore. No, we have custodians. And, what’s more, we don’t have garbage men, either, for the men and women who pick up our refuse are Sanitation Engineers. No less.
We wouldn’t dream of calling a carpenter to fix the broken window. We call a Home Repair specialist. And where we once had auto mechanics we now have Automotive Technicians.
People today have quit sweating, according to the experts. That’s simply gross! What we do today is categorized even further as: animals sweat, men perspire, and women glow. Well, well, well, so that’s what I go. and to continue, children don’t go out to ‘play with the other kids’ any more, either. Can you guess? Well, today they socialize with their own age group. My, my.
And along the same lines, the big old-fashioned roomy kitchen where mom could cook and ‘tidy up’ at one end of the room while the family gathered to study, play games, and visit in the other end is long gone. My goodness, yes. Nobody has that kind of a kitchen anymore. What we have now is a special place off to one side of the kitchen where the TV sits, and the family gathers to study and talk. But, remember, it’s not the kitchen. It’s the Family Room. Gotta get that straight, don’t ya know.
Oh yes, and today an undertaker doesn’t bury us, because that chore is definitely the task of the Mortician, and…when we’re ailing…we no longer go to a foot doctor, baby or women’s specialist. Now we go to Podiatrists, Pediatricians, Gynecologists, Oncologists, and that fairly new one, Geriatrician.
How about that? We don’t play pool, wash clothes or try to lose weight anymore. We play billiards, do the laundry and diet. We never go buy groceries, either. We do household shopping.
And, of course, a pre-med course is practically a necessity to understand what your doctor is telling you. All the old familiar ‘two-bit’ words have been discarded and now we hear that our X-ray shows a “dangerous expression”; that our blood pressure is confusing; a PAP test seems to be transitional and one’s white blood count is careless.
And, is it kinder to say “seizure-syndrome” instead of epilepsy? To call a stroke a heart attack? And to shun the words mental retardation as if they were poisonous? And that heart-breaker Mongolism by the words Downs Syndrome?
It’s all a pack of nonsense to me, for such confusing terms are often more frightening than the plain old matter-of-fact ones we all knew and understood.
In California a low over-pass is called, of all things, ‘Impaired Vertical Clearance.’ I’ll bet many a driver has scraped the top off his truck because he couldn’t figure out fast enough what the dang sign said.
And then take the case of the airplane crash wherein three people luckily lived to tell about it. The pilot said, “Fasten your seatbelts, the plane is aerodynamically unstable.”
A woman turned to her seatmate and said, “What did he say?” and he replied frantically, “I think he means for us to start saying our prayers ‘cause we’re going to crash.”
Well, luckily they ended up in 10 feet of snow and no one was seriously hurt. But without that little bit of luck, they’d have crashed and been dead before even figuring out what the pilot was talking about!