too much typing—since 2003


it's only words, and words are all a heh-heh-heh...

More word-watching: it seems as if the word "closure" is all but completely taking over any senses the word "closing" (in its gerund sense) formally covered. Example: a headline in the local paper noting that a cinema is at risk of "closure." I would have said that it's at risk of "closing" - i.e., it's going to go out of business. To me, "closure" still indicates a condition or situation of being closed (or a part of something that keeps it closed, like a strap or buckle). I think closure-mania arises in part from its trendy pop-psych usage ("we just needed closure on this issue"); at any rate, it still seems odd to me to see signs about "lane closures" rather than "lane closings" on the freeway.

It's interesting when the frequency of a word increases not just because of one but two increasingly popular usages. I'm thinking that if one studied the frequency of the word "server" in English, a graph of that frequency would show a sharply upward slope from the '90s onward. This is due not only to the technical usage of "server" in computer networks but also to its usage as a gender-free substitution for "waiter" and "waitress."

Oh...and in the "another theory shot to shit" department: given the (unfortunately homophobic) reputation attached to the name "Bruce" in the '60s by innuendo about the relationship between Bruce Wayne and his young ward Robin, and songs like that "Big Bad Bruce" number that was endlessly featured on the Dr. Demento show in the 1970s, I would have expected that the name's popularity dropped from the '60s onward (indeed it has) - but my theory (which is mine) was that it might have experienced a resurgence in popularity due solely to the macho beacon that is Bruce Springsteen (maybe an assist from Bruce Willis). Alas - the graphic name-frequency site I linked to a month or so back demonstrates that in fact, "Bruce" has continued its slide off the popularity charts. Maybe more kids are being named "The Boss" since the early '80s?

ps: number number, winding winding, adhere ad here. No takers...sigh...

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