Saturday, February 16, 2013


Tablet is a versatile word.

Could mean pill. Could mean electronic gadget, could mean a heavy stone thing Moses supposedly lugged down a mountain. Could also mean a very heavy sugary Scottish sweet.

Four meanings for the same word only separated by its contextual usage.

The sweet version is always plural i.e. he bought some tablet. Its never he bought a tablet. If I heard he swallowed a tablet, I instantly think medicine. If its he swallowed some tablet it has to be a sweet so heavy it has its own gravitational pull.

The electronic gadget and Moses version are part of the same family. They essentially mean the same thing. They’re just separated by a few generations of design, innovation and the odd microchip.

So four (or three if you count Moses and i-pad as one) usages for the same word but today if someone says tablet, out of context, I immediately think small sleek book sized electronic gadget. This is the first thing which pops into my head.

So what this means is that in less than ten years the word tablet has taken on a whole new and predominant meaning.

And I think this is just lazy.

If you go to all the trouble of inventing something new don’t stop there, at least come up with a new name for the thing you have invented. It could be anything, anything at all. You have the option of inventing a whole new word  but no, you choose an already existing word and take it over. Yes very lazy indeed and also a huge missed opportunity. 

Inventing words from scratch has got to be fun.

IKEA do it all the time. In fact they go further and come up with new and largely unpronounceable words for common items of furniture which already have names.

Take bed as an example.

Bed is a good word. Easy to understand, no alternative usage, easy to spell. There is nothing wrong with ‘bed’.

IKEA seem to think otherwise. Take a trip into the blue and yellow scented candle hell and bed becomes the impenetrable ‘FJell’ or a saliva inducing ‘Svelvik’.

If IKEA can do it, and probably have a lot of what is considered fun in Sweden in the process, why cant the tablet makers? I know I would.

The worlds largest and most technologically advanced telescope in the world is not called ‘Goliath’, ‘Collosus’ or ‘Hercules’ all of which would befit such an man made achievement. No, after years of cutting edge engineering, impossibly difficult logistics, the worlds most refined mirrors and mathematics which would even make Stephen Hawkins raise an eyebrow they just stopped.

They stopped, sat down and had a cup of tea as the worlds media gathered around.

Journalist ‘Wow, that’s cool’
Chilean engineer ‘Yup, good huh?’
Journalist ‘What’s it called?’
Engineer ‘Called? Does it have to have a name?’
Journalist ‘I would give it a name, but then I’m a girl and I name everything’
Engineer ‘Everything? Do you?’
Journalist ‘Yup, everything’
Engineer ‘Ok, hmm, let me see’
Journalist ‘Well its very big ….’

And so became the VLT – Very Large Telescope.

And this brings me on to the overall point, if there ever is one, of this blog. Text speak.

I dislike it immensely. I do. Its lazy and there is absolutely no need to use it. When I receive a message which includes the number 8 or the letter z I tense up in the same way I do when I try to press the lift door close button and realise there isn’t one there. Its irritating and unnecessary. 

Fit a fucking button and just use the words properly please.

Adding LOL to the end of every sentence for no apparent reason also baffles me. I very rarely laugh out loud so why on earth would I do so when you tell me you are going to Tesco’s or have a cold? Its not funny and certainly a million miles away from laugh out loud funny.

Language is a constantly evolving thing, its changing all the time. 

I was asked the other day, what the acronym ‘ok’ stood for and I actually stopped to think about it, what could the two letters stand for? This is an example of an abbreviation and of lazy English which I use everyday without thinking twice about. I very rarely use ‘okay’ even in my business correspondence.

So if ok is ok for me, then why not m8, 2moro, ysterdy or shld?

Its probably because ok already existed whereas the rest is changing within my lifetime and I am having to adapt, or not, as the case actually is.

Is it wrong? I don’t know. I do know that in say fifty years from now this short hand lazy arse way of writing, spelling and communicating will most likely be commonplace and accepted however depressing this might be.

I never speak like Shakespeare and that’s probably a good thing but he would probably wince at the ‘proper’ language I think I am using.

Its changing, I don’t like it but there is nothing I or you can do about it.

I guess I just need to accept it however difficult this might be.

Remember though, if you send me a txt or email using such bone idle, grammarless, fat arsed, tablet eating bad English the response you get may be surprising. If you add LOL to the end it might even be painful.