Every year I am the recipient of forwarded e-mail chains from people who believe that we are on a slippery slope to somewhere unpleasant, in danger of losing our national identity, and vulnerable to communism through the replacing of the words “Merry Christmas” with the words “Happy Holidays”.
Me? I try not to get involved. Go ahead. Wish me something pleasant! I will wish you the same. My Jewish friends wish me a Merry Christmas, and I wish them a Happy Hanukah. And when there’s a crowd, a loud and heartfelt “Happy Holidays!” blankets the whole group in sincere bonhomie.
Unless you want to fight about it, wherein a general “up yours, heathen” is always popular.
I’m thinking, though, that if everyone wants to get worked up – and I’ve nothing against a good lather! – I suggest we contact the makers of the Toddler
ABC program for iPad, whose “A is for Apple, B is for Ball” schtick includes the brow-furrowing “X is for Xmas”.
I kid you not.
X is for Xmas?! Well, why not? Don’t you remember the little baby X born in the manger?
X is for Xmas. Hmm. I would’ve much preferred “X is for Peds Xing”, but no one asked me.
So maybe there is a group of people trying to change not only the meaning of the season but our words and how they come about.
It’s not the guy in the red suit at the Salvation Army kettle hollering “Happy Holidays everyone!”, it’s the makers of “Toddler
ABC” who see nothing wrong in using a written shortcut as a real word.
I saw an advertisement for “cubeicles” yesterday. Now, I’ve worked in a cubicle – which, from the picture, is what they were talking about, so why the misspelling?
Our long-distance carriers want us to ask our friends “Where you at?” clearly leaving us vulnerable around the not-ending-a-sentence-with-a-preposition thing. Why do they want us to look bad?
And now we are legitimizing the word “Xmas”.
I think we’ve all come to the same conclusion here, haven’t we?
Marketing is trying to kill us. Better for them that the hand holding the wallet be un-encumbered with the ability to communicate.
Why talk when you can spend?
Let’s all pledge to each other: this coming year, we will look up a word in the dictionary. We will use that word, we will love it, we will take it out, we will introduce it to our friends. We will learn the words of our friends, find how they mesh with our own, find the subtle meanings within the meanings and marvel at how the nuance of a word can change intent.
There is nothing wrong with mastering a language.
This message brought to you by the people who believe that words mean things.