A day of words

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.


  1. So nice...I like your pretty blog.^^
    Maybe follow each other on bloglovin?
    Let me know follow you then back.
    Lovely greets Nessa

  2. I think probably in the span of one post we've said worse things about breasts than Gok Wan has. Knockers, fun bags, dirty pillows... it's all said in jest. No one's trying to demean women.

    Have you heard that there's a state here that banned the word 'penmanship'? They claim it discriminates against women and is sexist.

    Now, I'm all for women's equality, but really... why do these folks always focus on such stupid, nitpicky stuff instead of the real issues? Is changing 'penmanship' to 'penpersonship' going to give a woman equal wages to a man?

    1. You're joking? Wow! It makes me think of the decline of using 'he' instead of 'they' as a pronoun just because it's deemed sexist: http://oxforddictionaries.com/words/he-or-she-versus-they

      I love the word 'penmanship'! People are far too sensitive with stuff like this!

  3. Wow! Love that list at the end! Thanks for sharing! Hugs from Cali! xx The Golden Girls

  4. This will probably be news that will make you shed a single tear then: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/will-it-twerk-oxford-dictionary-online-embraces-selfies-geek-chic-and-bitcoins-8786842.html

    Having said that, I'm happy to let the term 'food baby' slide. :)