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Jan. 30 2012

What’s in a word?

By Mark Malinowski | Posted in Host Blogs | 2 Comments

Saw a report on a morning news show the other day about the proliferation of vulgarity in mainstream entertainment, specifically in book titles.  The books in question all had titles that had to be blurred (pixillated, in high-tech parlance) because they are not allowed to be said (or read, for that matter) on television.  This is clearly a gimmick to attract attention to a book that one might otherwise not be very interested in.  Probably with good reason, but I shouldn’t make value judgements, should I?

One aspect of language that I find a bit distressing is the creation of words.  Don’t get me wrong, all language is evolutionary in nature, and new words become a necessity.  100 years ago, the word “television” didn’t exist.  Because televisions didn’t exist.  That is not what I am talking about.  I’m talking about words like “wellness.”  What the heck is “wellness?”  Is it anything like “wonderfulness?”  Now we don’t go to the clinic, we go to the “Wellness Center.”  Why, so I can hang out with all the “well” people? Instead of saying “wellness,” why can’t we say “good health?”  Or are we SOOOOO busy we don’t have time for two words when one will do.  Well, it doesn’t do.  That’s not evolution in language, it’s just lazy.

Mark Malinowski

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Mark is WBJC's morning host. His full bio can be read here.

2 Responses to What’s in a word?

  • Linda Jacksob says:

    This evening (2/2/12) I caught the tail-end of a comment I believe you made concerning how Bach, Beethoven, perhaps Litz and whomever else were all alive during the same span of time and all composing fabulous music.
    This got me to thinking that perhaps someday it will be noted that wasn’t it interesting (maybe great) that John Lennon, Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones (I do not know who did their composing/writing) were all existing in the same space of time and all composing the same basic sort of music.
    It makes me wonder if the words were to be eliminated would their music ever be considered classical? If the “greats” were composing during the time of the above named or vice-versa what, I wonder, would we hear? Just a wonderment on my part; I am not yet losing sleep over this and please do not cancel my memebership for having heretical thoughts.

  • Mark Malinowski says:

    Linda,

    As much as I like the Beatles, Rolling Stones (saw them in ’69) and much of the popular music of the era, I believe that these artists, much like Elvis Presley, will be remembered more in a sociological context than a musical one. Popular music is not a recent phenomenon–it’s been around forever. In Bach’s day, they were minstrels or troubadours who sang love songs, political satire, etc. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and others used some of their tunes in their compositions, just as modern “classical” composers have used tunes by Lennon/McCartney and other in their works. But I could be wrong. Thanks again for your comment.

    Mark

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