Thursday, 17 July 2008
Passive Aggressive Notes is one of my favourite blogs. A major reason for this is the frequent mangling of the English language by disgruntled passive-aggressors. Below is one of my favourite entries from October of last year.
Isn't that marvellous? The txt speak, the sentence formation, the vulgarity, the threat (and ass kicking will surely follow) and the remarkable sign-off all add up to comedy gold. I was most confused by the use of the word trifling. In the context of such extreme vehemence, trifling – defined by those Oxford blokes as "unimportant or trivial" – seemed misplaced. In fact, I spent a good couple of minutes trying to identify a possible malapropism, to no avail.
"But why bring this up now?" I hear you ask, "this post is the best part of a year old!".
I shall tell you for why. At the end of last month I twittered (yes, that's a verb now) a message asking other twitterers what they thought of a piece from guardian.co.uk on language evolution. The author, Paul MacInnes was lamenting what he views as the introduction of unnecessary words into the formal lexicon.
I find that irritating. We are THAT much closer to trifling meaning "nasty" in the dictionary instead of "trivial".
And the penny drops. It's not a malapropism, it's a colloquialism. That's an altogether different kind of ism. Indeed the urban dictionary (shudder) carries the following definition.
When a hippo takes a big dump in front of a group of 1st graders and then eats it.
In response to the hungry hippo's action, Oh no, that's triflin'!
You learn something new
everyday every day.
Rather than launch into indignant polemic, I thought I'd canvass opinion on this matter. So what do you lot reckon?
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