October 5

Re-preciated terms … “Lost my marbles”

The etymology and meanings of phrases in any language continues to fascinate me. Where words and phrases came from, what they used to mean, what they still mean …

I heard an interview on NPR recently where the speakers mentioned our current use of English names and terms such as “horsepower” for engines and “candlepower” for lights. We still “film” or “video” on our smartphones as well, instead of “record” or “capture” … “capture” seems to have attached itself to the idea of motion capture instead.

And some words have taken on additional meanings – a “handle” is still something you grab something by, but it’s also a chosen name for online chat. A “honeypot” is both a place to store bee juice and attract black hat traffic.

But as some words fade out of use in negative ways, such as “retard” (soon, please) and “lost my marbles” … will they come back to mean something completely different?

Some neat new-ish technology popped up in an old reading list of mine the other day: HUGE marbles designed to capture visible light and convert it to electricity. I envision buildings with marble roofs, and ground quakes causing the arrays to shift off line. “Why’d the power go out?” “Welp, we lost our marbles again …”

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Posted October 5, 2016 by Lorena in category "future