Takeaways: Online Food Shopping: Bake-off; Cupcakes – life in the kitchen has altered immeasurably. A recent government statistic informed us some UK families nosh their way through a takeaway a wallet-crushing 3-4 times a week. The multitude of cooking programmes transfixes us; people slaving away on-screen making complicated recipes while we chomp down on bought-in noodles. The charity shop shelves abound with cooking utensils and equipment more likely to be purchased as quaint additions to a culinary display than actually used. But it’s not just vintage apparatus – only the other day I spotted two brand-new cupcake makers at a car boot sale.
Pushing the food to one side – what other lingo will we be slinging around in 50 years’ time? ‘Google’ slipped in painlessly enough, but other technology fizzles away before it makes its mark on the language. Friends Reunited was one such fast-burning phenomenon – until Facebook took over.
Ah, social media – it’s engulfed our lives to the extent we’re constantly looking to time-save. You only have to glance down a Facebook community page and read the plaintive requests: ‘does anyone know who can stop my tap dripping’; ‘make my radiators heat up’; ‘pull the weeds in my garden’; ‘fix a crack in my wall’. These were all once simple tasks any man (and most women) could do. Even if the job proved to be a challenge, they would roll-up their sleeves until the job was completed. I expect the tradesmen who can still accomplish these tasks have names they apply to their more helpless customers. And as the practical populace atrophies; new jargon will appear. The website ‘Rated People’ has already made itself so useful I recently heard someone ask : ‘Is he Rated?’ with no other explanation needed.
In June 2014 ‘Selfie’ and ‘Skype’ made it into the Oxford English Dictionary.
The OED stated last year, words are never removed from the OED. Consider all those terms once in common usage now stored in a dusty database, waiting for someone to re-utilize them. I give you: Charabanc; Liberty-bodice; tippet.
And here’s a word that’s making a come-back – Velocipede.