Sunday 20 November 2011

Today's Review: The Way That Putting "The" Before Certain Negative Words Makes It Positive

You know what I mean. If something's "shit", it's bad. If it's "the shit", then it's good. "Bollocks"? Bad. "The bollocks"? Good. "The dog's bollocks", even better.

I know it's not true for all words. For example, if something is "garbage" then it's not great. But if it's "the garbage" then it's something that you're putting in a bin and waiting for men to put in the back of their truck. So why is it only a few words that have found the magical state changing wonder of the addition of "the"? I know it's a relatively new thing in the English language, but it has been going on for a while, and there doesn't seem to have been a point where someone has said "Wait a minute guys, you're not making any god damn sense"

Perhaps if we look at the semantics we can understand this phenomenon a bit more. Shit, in general, is bad, yes. But "the" implies the definite article, and is normally used to describe the best possible version of the thing you're describing. So perhaps the definitive lump of faeces is so wonderfully constructed that its merits outweigh any negative connotations. The same could be said even more for bollocks, because for one thing they're not big lumps of smelly waste. Dog's bollocks though, that doesn't make sense. Ergo my logic falls pretty flat.

I don't get it. Which is why I don't say it. I use words like "awesome" and "orgasmic", because I love positive sounding words and actually know quite a few. It seems to me like some people couldn't think of a good word, so just said something negative and attempted to turn it round in the worst way imaginable. Oh well, good luck to them. They're the shit. I mean they're shit.

My rating: 0/5

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