Language changes. A new, “cooler” sounding lexicon comes along. But how much change can our boomer generation take?!? Writer and speaker Katherine Giovanni is wondering the same thing, because it seems like every day now, she’s wondering, Can I Still Say That?
Did you know that there are words you can’t say anymore? All of a sudden, after saying these words for dozens of years, they are now considered politically incorrect.
A client of mine recently reminded me of this. I was telling him a story about a “secretary” I knew years ago. When I finished, he gently reminded me that I couldn’t use that word anymore.
Nope. It’s now more politically correct to say “administrative assistant.”
Apparently, there’s a bunch of them that you can’t say…
- As you now know, Secretary has become Administrative Assistant or PA
- Janitor is now Custodian (and sometimes Building Engineer)
- Maid is now Housekeeper (Or Home Engineer?)
- Stewardess is now Flight Attendant (we all know that one, even if we still sometimes forget)
- Waiter is now Server
- Salesperson is now Sales Associate
- Garbage Man is now Sanitation Engineer
- Icebox is now refrigerator
- Emergency brakes are now called parking brakes
- Supper is now called dinner!
- Old and aged have been replaced with senior citizen or elderly
- Bald is now folically-challenged
Seriously? Come on!!! So, you are telling me that a dishwasher would now be a utensil engineer?
It seems that these words have all gone to the same place the telephone booth went. Do you even remember those any more? You surely haven’t seen one in a long time.
And let’s not forget the new words that the millennials have added …
“My bad” means my fault
Just “bad” can mean “good”
“Sick” means great, cool, awesome
They’re even abbreviating words …
How about words that now mean something else? Words such as Tweet, Feed, Tag, Status, and Viral, all have completely different meanings now. Don’t get me started on the word “junk,” which these days means neither the stuff you don’t need nor a big boat from China.
I have no doubt that there are dozens more out there that I’m not allowed to say anymore, and even more that mean something else. Hard to keep up with it. I guess I need an interpreter.
It’s all semantics, really. Words are just that … words. The meaning behind the words is what matters.
Remember, people might not remember what you say, and some might not even understand it … but they’ll never ever forget how you made them feel.