— men så har det alltid varit.
Fast om det hände för några hundra år sedan, tycker jag att det är intressant. I dag är det enbart irriterande. Jag talar om ord, som får en ny betydelse.
Jag muntrade nyligen upp mig själv genom att ge mig denna lättlästa och intressanta bok.
Justin Cord Hayes har valt ut ett par hundra ord, som med åren fått en ny betydelse, och här förklarar han hur det gått till.
Här lär jag mig att ordet "nice", ursprungligen inte alls var särskilt “nice”.
original definition: foolish; stupid
new definition; agreable, pleasant, as in temperament
This word has traveled more than an international businessperson.
In the fourteenth Century, you wouldn’t want you or anyone in your familj to be called “nice” because it meant that you or those you love were considered extremely dumb. The Words origon is a Latin word meaning “ignorant” or “not knowing”.
“Nice” then spent the Newt 400 or so years adopting and then discarding new meanings. At various times, the word meant timid, fussy and careful.
By the time the novel became a viable literary form — sometime in the 1700s — the word had solidified to mean agreable or pleasant or even well-bread.
Of course, “nice” continues to be a pretty elastic word. It can be usel to sarcastically: “Nice job, idiot”. It can be used to show extreme pleasure or approval: “Nice!” And it can be usel when you need a generic, “pleasant” word: “What do you think of this flower arrangement, dear?” “ Oh, it’s nice.”
Ett ord vars ursprung jag undrat över är “basket case”
original definition: quadriplegic
new definition: someone unable to cope emotionally
Unlike many of the words in this book, whose meanings shifted centuries ago, “basket case” was coined in England to describe soldiers left quadripledgics on the battlefields of World War I. Since these men either literally had lost their limbs or had lost the use of them, the men were sometimes carried around in baskets.
Even if they weren’t actually carried around in baskets, the term became a common way to describe people with this plight. “Basket case” likely was an example of the kind of gallows humor that people, such as doctors or policy officers, develop to cope with the horrors of their professions.
“Basket” also suggested that these soldiers would be unable to work once they returned to their former lives. The world was not designed for “different abled” people to work or live happily, so most quadriplegics would be forced to carry “baskets” and beg for money.
The insensitivety of the term “basket case” led to its disappearance as a quadriplegic descriptor, but at some point in the second half of the twentieth century, the meaning of the term shifted to a a metaphorically disabled person… but is still insesitive.
Now it suggests someone who doesn’t have the use of his or her emotional faculties, due to stress, overwork, or relationship problems. In effekt, these folks stuffer from feeling of hopelessness not unike that which is felt by someone who’s lost the use of his or her limbs.
Nyfiken på att läsa om hur "awful" blev ett negativt ord efter att ha varit något positivt, eller hur haywire kunde bli något knasigt efter att ha varit just vad det låter som det skulle vara. Boken finns hos Bokus.