Why don’t you Google that?
How many times have we said that to someone or heard that from someone? The term for the powerful search engine comes from the word “googol.”
A googol is 10 to the 100th power (which is 1 followed by 100 zeros). A googol is larger than the number of elementary particles in the universe, which amount to only 10 to the 80th power.
Wow! I have no idea what that means. But, we all know what it means to “Google something” right? How did ‘google’ become a verb?
It became a very commonly used word the same way that all language evolves and changes over time. Changes occur because of political upheavals, religious changes, new ideas and technologies, economic conditions, etc., etc., etc. New words crop up and old words have new meanings. It’s perfectly natural.
Sometimes (for us older folks) changes are hard to keep up with, but in the communication business we need to try and keep up. Not to mention the fact that many of these types of changes can originate within the communication fields. It is important that our messages are clear.
So, are you down with that? Do you feel me? Yikes. Can you be down with that and up for that? When did hot and cool become the same thing?
Are your eyes crossing yet? Okay, here’s some current “lingo” for your enjoyment:
- Salty – agitated or upset about something that’s over and done
- Plug – not exactly new, but used to endorse a product or service on social media
- Done – you are so completely finished; sometimes you’re “done” twice
- Narrative – a situation you do NOT want to be a part of
- Aesthetic – a short term to describe a situation; “I just don’t get his aesthetic”
- Trash – someone or something that is tasteless, used as an insult
- Cancel – to delete someone or something totally out of your life
There’s a lot more out there as I’m sure many of you already know. The meanings listed above are trendy; they’re being used by millennials and younger, but may or may not stick around. That’s okay too. It’s very common for new words or new meanings for words to come in and out of our daily language.
In the business of marketing and communication we need to stay current, but we also need to be precise. It might be best to avoid heavy use of current trendy speech until we can see where it’s going.
For example, the word “awful” used to mean “full of awe.” Now it means the opposite. The word “silly” used to mean “worthy or blessed,” now it means the opposite.
As human beings, we love to play with words, so without a doubt our language will continue to change. Let’s just be sensitive and careful with our use of the latest language so we’re sure our meaning is exactly what we intend.