Thursday, January 23, 2020

Never being lost for words

I often Google words for their meaning or spelling – recently I checked on verdant, for example. What I thought meant 'green with vegetation' is actually a brewing company in Falmouth – Verdant Brewing Co. Oblivion – a state of being unaware of things happening around you? Nope, first place is a post-apocalyptic adventure film starring Tom Cruise. Wayfinder is not 'a traveller on foot', but a type of Ray-Ban sunglasses. Dawn is a Pakistani newspaper. Supreme is a skateboard brand. Ripe is either an insurance company or a Network Coordination Centre. Quartz is a business-focused English-language international news organisation. Catastrophe is a TV series. Believe is a song by Shawn Mendes.

You get the idea. Any word I look up is something else. More and more words are becoming brands, products, bars, restaurants, films, songs. I think it belittles words. And we're now running out of them. Any word is up for grabs for crappy companies and pointless films.

And words don't have anyone to perform SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for them. The humble spelling and meaning of a word now takes second place to commerce, or worse still, a film (usually starring aforementioned Cruise in a movie such as Collateral or Magnolia).

It took a while to realise that to find the definition of a word, I need to Google the word followed by 'definition', 'meaning' or 'synonym'.

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