tiistai 26. huhtikuuta 2016

Englanniksi! Vocabulary of Death

Hellozees, everyone!

That there is a word that I just came up with, although I struggle to believe that it hadn't already been invented by some random Californian surfer dude. It just sounds so friendly and eloquent – like gentle waves barely gracing the shore. (And I do know that gracing is already done barely.)

Quite the poet, am I not?

Now onto some other things, my friends, although we will still be somewhat flirting with poetic stuff.

The topic I'm going to talk (write) to you about today is none other than good ol' DEATH.

No worries, though, I'm going to keep it light. There's not going to be gore or gibs, blood, massacre or murder. This blog is going to be about the ways that use to talk about people dying. Oops, did I say the D-word? I meant passing on, of course!

As an annoying linguist, I find it interesting how most people use language only for functional purposes. What I mean is that we humans rarely pay attention to the so-called expressive power of our language. For example, we have numerous synonyms that mean the same as 'good', yet we rarely talk about how amazing, fantastic or splendid the movie we just saw was. People just want to get the point across.

Adjectives aside, though, it's a lot more rare to substitute plain verbs with more extraordinary ones. Let's face it: we say, we write, we walk, and we talk a lot more often than we utter, scribe, stroll or conversate.

We don't pay very much attention to our everyday speaking – unless we are talking about sensitive topics. That is when things really start hitting the fan.

Picture yourself at a funeral service talking to a grieving widow whose husband of 30 years just, well, died about a week ago. You might not want to go to her and blurt out the D-word – instead you'd rather stick with, for example, passing on, which kind of gives you the feeling that the person did not actually die, they just leveled-up, moved onto a higher realm of existence, graduated from life or whatever positive thing you can think of. Anyway, this is where you want to choose your words carefully and have to realize that synonyms aren't really synonyms at all.

The idea for this blog came from a text that I read a few days ago on a day when the musician Prince and former professional wrestler Chyna died. Someone had written something like “Now Chyna knows the secret about what happens when you die!” I though that was ingeniously put.

Until next time!

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