Well, we all love words, don't we? More than food? I was thinking as I swam this morning (so good to be back in the pool) of all the words we know that didn't even exist 10 or 15 years ago. Cyberspace, for example, first coined by William Gibson (Necromancer, 1984), and defined by him as follows;
"A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts. … A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding. (Gibson 69)
Well, here's one from the nonspace of my mind, conjured up daily: blog. I guess everyone knows it's short for weblog, and became blog for short. That's why I first called my blog 'cobweb log', only stuck together. There are so many words, ideas, concepts and tools that simply didn't exist before because today's technical world didn't exist. On the other hand, there are words that have fallen into disuse and out of memory, concepts that I grew up with - and I still miss them and try to preserve them. It's a losing battle. What kind of words?
Well, words like responsibility, gratitude, grace, courtesy, honour, loyalty, fidelity, ideals and - yes- shame. I meet very few people, children of the Boomers, especially, who have never heard of them, or if they have, do not pay them the respect they deserve. That's another one: respect.
I have great respect for the skills of this latter generation, not to say AWE. But they seem to have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. That expression is supposed to have come from the Saturday night bath ritual when everyone in the family washed, beginning with the father. Depending on the size of the family, by the time they got down to the baby, the water was so murky it was hard to see through it, hence the danger of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Quality of life. That's another phrase not used in my time, much prized today, and rising frequently from discussions about the end of life, the argument being if there is no quality why settle for quantity? Define quality.
Oh, my, I have gone far astray from my swimming meditation. Don't tell me I'm all wet.