Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Made with real portobello mushrooms...

So it said on the packaging. "Real" opposed to?

Or the other one I find so — entertaining. "Next week, an all-new episode of 'House'." "All-new", instead of some combination of bits of older episodes with some new content thrown in hoping the viewers won't notice? Come to think of it, I've watched shows like that. But not recently.

Now, I understand that language changes, develops, evolves. I am a firm believer that it must change, whether I like said changes or not, else it will die. I remember the pleasure my father took in the vigor of American usage and how he regarded the importance of a dynamic approach to language.

He recalled how, in the seventies, at the height of the US Space Program, business meetings were understood to reach "ignition point" and achieve "lift-off". Language usage as a reflection of the age and the milieu.

So, what does the "all-new" usage say about the age and milieu in which it is used?

And what about those food products that do not contain "real" portobello mushrooms...? Dare I ask?


  1. I laugh when I use the word tweet as something other than the lovely sound that a bird makes. Language moves on, I agree. But it doesn't always make sense.

    This past weekend I saw something that jolted me. Huntington Bank had a sign up that said "open seven days"-- now we'll have to remove the phrase "banker's hours" from the lexicon. Or just make it mean something different. Kind of like tweeting.

  2. True, Karen. Language moves on - but, please, can't we ask that they make some attempt to use it properly?