From Your Email To God’s Inbox
Slang is something that continually changes yet some phrases (whether they be clichés or not) seem to remain intact. I don't get it, who decides what stays ("Whatever" - and I wish it wouldn't) and what goes ("Swell" - okay, so I still use this but I'm a forty-something gay male so I'm expected to keep phrases like this alive). Recently someone sent me an email that talked about that "great day when..." and I could only respond one way, from your email to God's inbox - Don't Get Me Started!
Now, do I think that I'm the one who invented this phrase? And that I'll see a bunch of people using it and giving themselves credit? You bet your ass. You see I think that I've come up with all sorts of phrases that have made it into people's vernacular and yet I rarely get credit. (Big sigh - Bitter? High chair for one?) I have a pal that I reconnected with after almost twenty years and he confided to me that he was still using some of my material from the early 80's. I updated his material and told him as long as he was on his coast and I was close to the other one it was all good.
Another pal of mine tried to bring back the word, "Boss" - no, not in the way the kid at the In And Out Burger refers to me as he's handing me my burger (and pisses me off no end - read that blog here http://hubpages.com/hub/Why-You-Should-Never-Call-Anyone-Boss ) but in a 1960's, "that's cool kind of way." Now in this case I just think it's forced and doesn't quite work. Unless of course you're very close friends with Bruce Springsteen.
No, I think in order to "coin a phrase" as they used to say it needs to come organically. Like when a friend of mine and I walked into another friend's home to see the most God awful lamp every created, I said, "Dear God, that's ugly squared." And so it came to pass that when things are too too for me, they get "squared." In fact I used it in a blog last week when talking about Jesus and Joseph Smith - they quickly became J squared. (Go ahead, I know you're going to steal it - use it in good health - as my Jewish relatives always say about everything from new cars to a new sweater)
Unfortunately for us, it always seems that a lot of these phrases come from the younger generation (that isn't all that funny to me on the whole). Let's see, who can ever forget the whole, "Wasssup???" or perhaps the Randy Jackson "Dog" - none of them are as clever as a quick quip from the forties. One of my all time favorites is from the movie musical Forty-Second Street where Ginger Rogers is in a line of girls rehearsing the big show. The director is pleading with them to show more emotion, off-handedly (the best way to deliver a quip) she says, "Whaddya want me to do, bite my nails?" Or another film classic that has two women meeting on the street who you can tell from their posture that they don't like each other immediately. One says sarcastically, "What a small world." The other one says, "Positively stuffy!" (I'll admit I've used this more than one when someone sets me up with a good, "What a small world.")
But I guess the most important thing isn't to get the credit but to give people a more colorful way of talking and interacting. Just as long as you all know that I started - from your email to God's inbox - Don't Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com
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