Creating New Words vs Destroying Old Words

| May 26, 2013 | 0 Comments


There is only one cause of unhappiness:

… the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.”

– Anthony De Mello


So …

Now we are supposed to think of chocolate and overly sweet sugary deserts when we hear the word “decadent” ?!?

books_stackedFunny thing is …

… when I hear that word, I think of rotting fruit – which is what “decadent” actually means.

Not necessarily rotting fruit – but that’s a best example of its use.

Decadent is when a fruit has passed its ripe stage and is now rotting before it becomes putrid.

Who cares about definitions anyway ?

You should care. Good communication is important.

If words do not mean anything – or worse, words can mean more than one thing or mean anything depending on what we want to apply it to, then communications deteriorate …

word_pile… understanding becomes decadent !

( pun intended )

Then – there is the creation of new words.

Sure – we invent words and terms all the time. Is that so bad ?

Not completely – However, historically there are groups that create and use terminology to identify opposing groups in order to control them and/or demonize them.

Or – a term that sounds good can be created in order to create a group to control or market to.

A good example is the term “tween”

Going back over the last 100 years, one could write volumes about the misuse of the term “progress”

Another good contemporary example is the newly created and recreated term: “caregiver”

words_hands“Caregiver” cannot be found in some contemporary dictionaries.

The term was created in the early 1980s that seemed to be connected to the divorce industry by lawyers. Originally meant to cause division between parents and demonize the parent who goes outside the home to earn a living to support the family as opposed to the parent who works in the home.

Today, the term “caregiver” is focused on middle aged children of elderly parents.

Taking care of elderly parents is something that has been done since families first appeared.

word_loveIt’s nothing new.

What IS new is the tremendous industry that has now risen since the population bubble known as “baby boomers” have now reached a time where there are many people in the situation of taking care of elderly parents.

It’s all just clever marketing.

Here is some historical evidence: Saturday morning animation became terribly awful in the 1970s.

What does animation in the 1970s have to do with the price of tea in China? ( pun intended )

Plenty – because the baby boomers were all out of childhood. There were just not a lot of children being born after the middle 1960s – hence, demand for creating new Saturday morning cartoons in the 1970s decreased greatly since the market for that age demographic was drying up.

A vicious cycle begins of less advertising buys meaning less income for the media which means cheaper production vehicles for advertisers. The result was pretty terrible …


baby_boomer_birth_year_chartRight now the big money is in the demographic of 50+

There is the mini baby boom demographic where the mid 20s is a good market to shoot for. But that pales in comparison to the real baby boomer generation.

As we move across the next decade, prepare to be bombarded by targeted marketing specifically for the aging baby boomers.

This will also continue to drive the new media markets that are embraced by the mini baby boomers. What 25 year old wants to endure constant ads for stool softeners, horny pills and adult diapers ? They will continue to turn away from traditional broadcasting because of that.

Looping back to creating words, we will see an increase in use of the term “caregiver”.

baby_boomer_hippiesSimply because of marketing.

Demographics drive EVERYTHING !

People do love to identify with groups. Very similar to sports fans.

Redefining the term “caregiver” to mean an adult taking care of an elderly parent creates a boom in marketing to reach that demographic.

One of the most successful marketing ploys is to create a new market that was actually always there.

Sales is about making the buyer realize they need something now that they were perfectly happy not knowing anything about just a few moments before getting pitched to.

Baby boomers have lived their entire lives having marketing follow them.

It has subliminally attributed to the baby boomer’s belief that the world revolves around them and they are entitled to everything they want or think they want.

The baby boomer demographic are also the masters at redefining words. Perhaps this is because they were being hammered all the time by advertisers.

Something good became hot which became cool which became bad which became rad … and so on … and so forth … ad nauseam …
No wonder words have become without real meaning in our contemporary times.

A time will come …

… when the whole world will go mad.

And to anyone who is not mad they will say:

‘You are mad, for you are not like us.’

– Saint Anthony the Great

PS: There is a reason that science uses a “dead language” when naming things.


Category: Tony Rollo Blog

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