BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

© John Denney 1 July 2005

Mind Your Language!

 

I’ve recently come across a number of newish words and phrases that have brought me some delight.  Here’s a few:

Bling-bling

Apparently, if you don’t know what “bling-bling” means, you don’t have it. 

Podcasting

Downloading radio programmes onto your i-pod or MP3 player to listen to at your convenience.  And I thought cassette recorders were pretty neat.

Mockintosh

Fake furniture and other objects in the style of the great Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Biffa sniffer

Someone whose living is made from recycling the contents of waste skips[1].

Anti-tainment

The comedy television shows that everyone tells you you must watch but you don’t find amusing, in my case including The Office and Footballers’ Wives.

Octothorpe

The proper name for the hash symbol on computer and telephone keypads, sometimes called a reticule

Larva therapy

The use of maggots to clean dead tissue from wounds, also known as maggot debridement therapy.  They say it’s a useful treatment in some cases but I hope I never have to experience it.

Noble cause corruption

When police officers fabricate evidence in cases where they are sure they know who did it but haven’t the real evidence to prove it.

Prairie Dogging

When workers in open plan offices pop up and peer over the office screens to see what’s going on elsewhere in the office.

I just love the way our language changes and develops, yet stays broadly the same.  The translators of the King James Bible of 400 years ago would be able to make sense of 90 percent of modern English, even if we struggle with the beautiful but difficult language of the Authorised version of the Bible.  Thank God there are lively modern translations of the Bible available to us!  Have you tried reading, say, one of the gospels in an up to date version?  You might be surprised.  No “Thees” and “Thous”, no “begats”, just understandable exciting accounts of God’s unfolding plan for mankind.

 

For example, what about the Lord’s prayer from a recent version of the Bible, The Message:

Our Father in heaven, reveal who you are.  Set the world right; Do what's best - as above, so below.  Keep us alive with three square meals.  Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.  Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.  You're in charge!  You can do anything you want!  You're ablaze in beauty!  Yes! Yes! Yes![2]  Great language.  Great meaning.

 

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[1] “Biffa” is a national waste disposal company

[2] Matthew 6:9-13 MSG