Modern Phrases of a Living Language

I tend to be somewhat old fashioned when it comes to language. I like archaic terms and am slow to pick up the hottest trends.

I have a general dislike of portmanteaus – when I’m not traveling for a vacation, I always correct people who feel comfortable calling that practice a staycation. I won’t use that word.

But I also have a deep appreciation of English as a living language. It is always growing and evolving and changing, and that is wonderful.

Words that are coined spontaneously go on to serve a valuable role in our ability to express ourselves.

Phrases that were once trendy are still appropriate to bust out on particular occasions. I’m never distraught to hear something described as the bee’s knees.

So I’m always interested to see what words and phrases stick with me. And I wonder which ones will survive time. I hope that in 80 years no one even remembers that amazeballs was even a thing.

Lately, I’ve been gravitating toward the half sentences which have emerged as popular.

Maybe it’s because there is 6 feet of snow on the ground, but, I can’t even –

I love that expression. I can’t even.

It so perfectly captures that overwhelmed feeling of confusion coupled with revolution.

I don’t think there was a good expression for that before.

I’m also a fan of phrases such as: no, but really and wait, but, what?

I wouldn’t have guessed those three words would make such a good expression, but it’s a welcome replacement to hold the phone or shut the front door. The more brash version of that former expression is fine with me, but I’d not use it here.

So I wonder if these half-phrases, these sentences which grammatically mean nothing but are filled with cultural context, will survive.

Maybe they will, maybe they won’t, but one things for sure – it’s wonderful to be working with a living language.


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