Let me get this straight…
Virus = Bad
Viral = Good
If I “get a virus,” that’s a bad thing?
If something I put out there “goes viral” then I’m praised?
Our language is a crazy thing, ain’t it?
Growing up, if something was a good thing, it was “cool.” But don’t mistake something “cool” for something “cold.”
“Dude, that was so cool!”
“Dude, that was cold.”
Total opposites. Crazy, I know.
And more more…
And then there’s the generational gap. If something was “radical,” that’s totally different than “being radical.” Some things are so radical that they just become “rad.”
Me in high school, “Your truck is rad, man!”
Me as an adult and talking about one of my kid’s friends, “Your friend is a radical! Distance yourself!”
See? Two different meanings entirely from the same word, used at different times of your life.
Another example? Sure.
Me at the dinner table, making sure the wife gets a piece of cake before the boys, “Piece to your mother!”
Overheard one of my kid’s friends upon their leaving our house, “Peace to your mother.”
One gets you a big slice of cake, the other a simple well-wish. I prefer cake, but whateva’.
Oh, we’re not done…
And don’t get “sick” and “sick” mixed up. Really! There’s a difference!
“Oh no, you’re sick?” – bad thing
“Dude, that was sick!” – amazingly good thing
Our language is a beautiful, ever-changing part of our society. It makes me wonder what will be added as my grandchildren begin to hit their teenage years.
Luckily for me, I have a couple years before that (three to be exact). I still have my fingers crossed that we will have a “universal language transcoder,” like the one I saw on that space travel documentary–I think it was called ‘Star Trek’–to help my generation adapt quicker than my parents did.
While we wait, take a chill-pill, don’t go cray-cray, turn on Netflix, chillax, and peace to your mother.