Just as there are trends with clothing and food and music and entertainment, so there are fashions with words. I am sure that this is not just in my own head. Two words that I have noticed creeping into regular use from obscurity are "diaspora" and "trope". Here I am thinking about talk radio and intelligent debate - not about exchanges in the local pub or the market.
diaspora - is a scattered population whose origin lies in a separate geographic locale. In particular, diaspora has come to refer to involuntary mass dispersions of a population from its indigenous territories, most notably the expulsion of Jews from the Land of Israel (known as the Jewish diaspora) and the fleeing of Greeks after the fall of Constantinople. Other examples are the African transatlantic slave trade, the Palestinian diaspora, the southern Chinese or Indians during the coolie trade, the Irish during and after the Irish Famine. (My thanks to Wikipedia for this)
The term comes from the Greek word diaspeirein - which means to disperse or scatter.
When war broke out in their home country, a diaspora of refugees settled in a neighbouring nation.
The Romans were responsible for the Jewish diaspora when they drove them from their homeland.
The African diaspora in the Americas was due, almost entirely, to slavery.
trope - something such as an idea, phrase, or image that is often used in a particular artist's work or in a particular type of art. In more recent times the word often refers to a well-used cliché or motif in political rhetoric.
The term comes from the Greek word tropos meaning turn or way.
Using the word "trope":-
Trump's suggestion that the Congresswomen should "go back where they came from" is a typically racist trope.
Have you noticed any other "fashionable" words rising to the fore? Please do tell.
Journey. I am sooo sick of hearing about "the journey"ReplyDelete
Like. Ostensibly a young women's thing, I am guilty of using like in, like, a meaningless way, like way too much.
There's also a bunch of corporate speak words but I can't think of them right now. Watch this space
On this journey where can I fill up with petrol and get my tyres checked?Delete
Oh my god, Kylie. I wish you hadn't reminded me. Yes, "journey". Everyone is on one, and everything is one. Even being stagnant will, most likely, count as a "journey". Well, I shall now journey ...Delete
Have I "noticed any other fashionable words"? Let's just say I am lagging and limping behind, with little interest in catching up. I have barely got my head round the suddenly ever present "meme", and if anyone can explain to me why everyone is "woke" I'd be not so much grateful as relieved for them to be awake. Also, naturally, everyone "curates". Anything.ReplyDelete
What else, and possibly slightly veering off your subject? "App". Apps are everywhere. It took me ages to understand that app is the abbreviation of "application". If there is one thing which makes me vaguely nauseous, sort of claustrophobic, it's being recommended an app. If you don't have an app for your every movement you won't know you are alive. The other day I came across an app that monitors your skipping (as in rope). I don't know what's it like in other countries but Nanny State comes to mind - where everything, including your bowl movements, is not only monitored but of extraordinary and minute importance. And sleep. Soon the dead in their graves will have an app foisted upon them.
Thanks for that, YP, my blood pressure hasn't gone down but at least your post allowed me to vent my spleen. Do you still have yours?
Spleen? Is that a fashionable word? Never heard of it. But I like your take on "apps". There's a kind of modern smugness about apps and accessing them. Needless to say I don't have any apps apart from a bag of red apples I bought in Lidl on Monday. Thanks for calling by Ursula and for sharing your language thoughts.Delete
Oh yes. Like.ReplyDelete
We were eating out recently with some friends and their 30-something children. One of the young women was giving her order to the waitress and said "Can I get like a sparkling water?". My other half couldn't resist piping up with "Do you want something like a sparkling water or just a sparkling water?". Embarassing.
I don't like the "Can I get..." opening to a service question either. "May I have..." or "Please could I have..." are better in my opinion.Delete
I know. That was two for the price of one in that conversationDelete
Just thought of another one that gets me every time I hear it. *This is so fun... or too fun* . 😱Delete
I HATE "Can i get?"Delete
I should have paid more attention to a post comment I read recently. However I did not know this post topic was in the offing.ReplyDelete
Part of the comment as I recall it, was 'my children are woke'. Woke? What? Are they alert? Informed?
Who knows? Not me. I'm all for plain English, not some super cool word of the moment, known only to the writer and the privileged few.
There are others words that have been done to death, this word 'woke' just drive me crazy. It seems to be in favour in the USA.
I will have to listen out for "woke" for I cannot say that I have noticed that particular usage before. Plain English is good but that does not mean to say that big or unusual words are therefore taboo. And come to think of it - isn't "taboo" a damned good word - adopted from Polynesia?Delete
OMG! I think all of those words - mentioned in the post and now by others have almost lost all meaning due to their overuse (and often incorrect use) and are now there just to set my teeth on edge!ReplyDelete
As for the use of the word "like" - I swear, I am going to record a few people that I know and then play it back to them just to see if they even notice! The inane conversations I have had to listen to on public transit would just drive you to distraction!
And there was me thinking that Toronto is a centre of cultural and linguistic eloquence!Delete
Yes, language knows trends and fads just like almost everything else in our lives. I have my own pet hates in German, but it would be useless to list them here.ReplyDelete
Trope? I've learned a new one there, thank you!
I thought you might not like “Mach's Gut.”Delete
Many of the words I see becoming popular do not bother me; in fact many of them I find have a place in my vocabulary because they have a particular shade of meaning contained in one word that it would take a phrase or sentence - or more - to explain. But two I cannot like, ever ever ever, are "swap out" when the single word swap is meant, and "pop of colour" which just annoys me beyond all reason, although it, too, has a shade of meaning that is useful. I think it's just too over-used and cliched.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the mini-education in the words diaspora and trope. I hadn't really delved into them before. It's good to learn new stuff.
You are welcome Jennifer. Now this week will you please remember to hand your homework in on time?Delete
I would, if I knew what the heck it was!Delete
Grrr! YOU NEVER LISTEN!!!!Delete
We have many slang terms as fashionable terms. Kids seem to pick hem up first.ReplyDelete
"Hey dude have you Red this tweet?"Delete
Like with all fads...some please...some annoy.ReplyDelete
Our language is forever changing and it is important that we allow new words in but what I dislike is the flock mentality.Delete
Who was Be and what did she say?Delete