I thought the onset of cooler weather would inspire me to cook more often at home, but since it’s still been fairly warm lately, I’ve been disinclined to cook anything. Yesterday someone mentioned that we’re experiencing an Indian Summer, a phrase that I hadn’t heard since childhood, but I think is now considered to be something of a racist slur, kind of like Indian Giver (which is apparently related). I chuckled a bit thinking about the etymology of the phrase and how some relatively benign words and phrases are loaded with negative (often socially constructed) connotations over time, whether or not the negative associations can be appropriately bestowed upon them.
Remember how there was that uproar when a teacher used the term “niggardly” in class and everyone went apeshit because the word sounds like the n-word, but in fact has no relation to the slur? Clearly a misappropriation of the P.C. police’s time and energy. Still, I think people are sometimes unintentionally lazy with language and its meaning. I suppose it’s OK if people are being intentionally lazy with language, either for literary affect or irony. Heck, I think I spend most of my time forcefully being lazy with words because that’s how I roll, yo.
I guess this post wasn’t really about what I made the boy for lunch (udon noodles, BTW) and was, in fact, a ramble about language. You can take the boy out of the MFA program, but you can’t really take the MFA out of the boy, I guess.