Saturday, July 16, 2011

Words that have lost their meaning

This morning I got my basketball out of the garage to go shoot some hoops.  Glancing at the label on the ball I noticed it is an “Official Indoor/Outdoor Basketball.”  Really?  Seriously?  In who’s opinion?  Is there an official indoor/outdoor basketball committee?  Or an official indoor/outdoor rating criteria?

That got me thinking about words we use every day that have lost their meaning.  “Official” is a good example.  Everything these days is “official.”  But, they never tell you which organization determined that it is genuinely official.

“Love” is another good example.  People “love” their dog, their car, their kids, their food, their hair color.  We “love” so many things and events and people that the word has lost its meaning.

How about “free”?  What is the first thing you do when you see “free” in any advertisement?  Look for the fine print!!  “Free, with $500 purchase.”  “Free, when you sign up for 2 years of service.”  “Free, when you pay $20 for shipping and handling.”

Oh, there’s so many more.  “Fresh” means that at some point in time, this product was baked.  The exact point of time being … Maybe in the last 24 hours, or 5 days.  “Homemade” is another good example.  Every restaurant in the world has food that is “homemade.”  Really, they live in their restaurant?  Or, they cook it in their kitchen and bring it to the restaurant?  Either way, that doesn’t sound healthy.

Maybe you can think of some other words that have lost their meaning.  If so, write them in the comments section!!

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