Month: March 2016

Meaning of Words Change

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Some words seem to become worn out and new ones take their place.  Particularly if the news media begins using them.

One word that seems to have come on in usage is “closure.”  For example a news reporter will tell about a death that results from a crime  or a court case is being aired and the family is seeking a “closure.” to the events or death. Personally, I ask “is there such an emotion as closure to a death? There may be a resolution to the cause or problem, but for many people memories of a death continue.  They do not end or close.

Another word that I feel might be over emphasized is “celebrity.”   Recently I read the book “When the Balls Drop” by  the comedian Brad Garrett. (You know him as the brother on the TV show “Raymond.”)  Anyway at the end of the book Garrett comments on how so many actors pass along and are called celebrities when they have maybe only been practicing for a short while. He feels that that word should be reserved for actors who have proven their worth over several pictures or series like a Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, etc.  That reminded me that we do not hear the word “Star” or “starlet” much any more.  An actress just beginning was a starlet.  An experienced actor was a Star.

Today you can pick up an entertainment magazine like US or People and there are dozens of guys and dolls we’ve never heard about. Some of them are on reality shows, talk shows and even understudies on Broadway and they categorize them all as celebrities. In fact, the person that may  be introducing them could be more of a celebrity than they are!