The funniest word? “Pickle.” Look it up.
Multitudinous shades of meaning, murky origins, the words build a temple.
Bill Clinton, no matter what your political background, was one of that temple’s high priests. When he testified about the meaning of “IS”, I was enthralled. His linguist ballet (no innuendo intended) was magnificent. Please, no partisan comments here, I am talking about the ability to tame and command words.
Words change. They evolve. Some fade away and are never seen again. Some deserve to fade away. Some are so charged with emotion they can only be uttered by using their first letter. Imagine when a word is so powerful that it can't even be said. Uttering some words will even cost money. The legislature has even set a price on some words. Uttering one such word can cost a television network $500,000. One word, or even one breast. Thank God they are leaving Jerry Springer alone and our violence unchallenged.
Still, even under the stalwart watch of the Word Police, the language is ever changing. In fifty years from now, speech patterns and words will be subtly different, influenced by technology (Google anyone?) and by the input of immigrant cultures. You may be marked by that difference.
Let’s go back in time some fifty years to peer over the shoulder of a writer who imagined slang in a future tense. Anthony Burgess, author of “The Clockwork Orange”. I’ll leave you with this thought, filtered through his weave.
“I know sometimes govoretting can be an oozhassny strain, make you wanna platch, my droogy. It’s a gloopy problem, but you have to filly the eegra. Eventually you start to pony and then it’s all horrorshow. So take cheer lewdies, if you have the keeshkas, you can win the devotchka in the end and maybe even a little of the old in-out in-out. Just keep your gulliver, my droogie. Keep your gulliver.”