Ettie Newlands

If they can unplanetize Pluto, they can certainly create new definitions for words.

And while I’m not quite sure who “they” are, I’ve had my vocabulary amended over the years, mostly by my grandchildren.

They taught me that ‘sick’ was good, and ‘hot’ was cool.

I learned that to ‘kill it’ means to be good at it and that ‘Bible’ is the equivalent of “My right hand to God.”

‘Bae’ being code for a significant other – literally ‘before anyone else,’ is a horrible word. ‘Babe’ was bad enough. In my day, that was a pig’s name.

There are other words that have been added to dictionaries this year, and even if we don’t use them, we’d best learn them so we can communicate with our grandchildren.

A ‘snowflake,’ once part of weather, now means someone overly sensitive. How rude is that? And how can someone be overly sensitive unless someone else is overly offensive?

Someone who’s ‘salty’ is upset, and ‘basic’ means mainstream in a predictable, boring way. As if there’s something wrong with predictable and boring. Those are just other words for ‘stable’ and ‘safe.’

‘Salty’ and ‘basic’ will always bring potato chips to mind.

Why does ‘adulting’ mean acting like a mature person? Maybe in a perfect world, but guess what?

And why does ‘dead’ mean happy? Why does ‘beat’ mean wearing make-up?

Why is ‘suh’ a shorter form of what’s up? What’s up took too long to say?

Remember when ‘Don’t take any wooden nickels’ meant ‘Don’t do anything stupid?’

And when ‘That’s my cup of tea’ meant you found something you like?

And when you’d be there with bells on because you were as happy as a clam and were ready to kick up your heels?

Thinking the old ways, and the old words, were better, makes me basic. I’ll take it, even if my grandchildren don’t think that’s sick enough.

Who knows, someone might even rediscover the value of Pluto being a planet.


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