Today is National Burger Day, did you know? My attention, however, has been on words.
On opening my laptop this morning I was greeted by far too many opinions on Miley Cyrus' performance at the MTV VMAs last Sunday. Feminism, race and other ambitious links aside, one word that's been cropping up amongst the Miley-bashing is twerking.
Twerking refers to a certain bottom-related dance move, but that's as far as my understanding goes. Where did the word come from? Why does the move need a specific word? Why does it sound so stupid? And why are people using it in a serious context? According to research it's been around since the nineties, but it sounds like it's just materialised from nowhere. And if you can''t tell, it really annoys me.
Once I moved on from my twerk anger, I saw an article saying that some Australians dared to complain about Gok Wan. He recently starred in a wonderfully cheesy television advert in Australia, in which he refers to breasts as bangers. On this side of the planet, we can recognise this as a Gokism, a term of endearment. But the Australians complained, saying his 'terminology' was 'demeaning' to women.
It sounds to me that people felt like they should be offended just because of what he's referring to, but some of the complaints are vile. Gok could have called them glorified milk lumps for all I care, he's the least offensive person on television.
Any regular readers will know the perpetual pain I'm in to witness the demise of the word literally and its proper use. I saw this video today of make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury, who manages to incorrectly say literally 12 times in under nine minutes. The highlights are her telling viewers to literally put make-up on with a finger, and that a product literally gives skin like satin.
Last, and on a lighter note, I absolutely love this article on words that can't be translated into English. It's lovely to think that someone once looked at the moon reflecting on the surface of water and thought it was too beautiful not to have a word of its own.