Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

WORD CONTAGION

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WORD CONTAGION

Wordies are particularly susceptible to word repetition; poets and lyricists repeat words hypnotically – trying to hypnotize an audience, perhaps, but also hypnotizing themselves. Certain words take on a life of their own; dividing and spreading throughout the meme world until the culture repeats them in some kind of Tourettes-like tic (D'oh! Not!).

Which brings me to my friend Danny. Danny has started a bad-word virus with his ironic use of “anyways.”

“Anyways” is not a word, it is bad grammar used unconsciously by uncouth, bad-grammared (read: young) people. Danny started using “ANYways” as code -- as a verbal eyeroll -- to indicate his displeasure with bad-grammared people or the world in general.

And every time he used it, he made me laugh. I caught the anyways virus, and it began to take over.

When I was cranky at work, I would email Danny (who sits two feet away) with a single word: “anyways.” We would both snicker and feel better.

And then it happened. I was talking on the phone to a PR and I said, “Anyways, I have to get back to work.” I wasn’t really being ironic. It just slipped out. D'oh!

1 comment

Ha!I have fallen to so many words/expressions from my friends. A strange phenomenon, the word contagion thing. These days, I am ACTIVELY RESISTING "awesomeness." I refuse to let it join my word repertoire. Where did that come from, anyway? Anyone else resisting certain words/expressions?

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Sheree-Lee Olson

Sheree-Lee Olson is a Canadian novelist, poet and journalist. Her first novel, Sailor Girl, was published in 2008 by The Porcupine's Quill.

Go to Sheree-Lee Olson ’s Author Page