Daily thoughts on aesthetics and theology, and the entire world in between.

    subscribe to
  • RSS

ensuing and glomming

Now that football season is here, we'll all be hearing this word ad nauseum on ESPN or approved equal:

" ... with 15 seconds left, he fumbles the ball! And on the ensuing play ...blah blah blah..."


I guarantee you'll hear this word an average of 3.5 times for every 20 seconds of replay footage this football season.

It's not simply: "... and on the next play ..."

No. It has to be: "...and on the
ensuing play."

What a heady word! These guys must be taking a correspondence course.

Ensue. Get used to it. Take a bite of the chips and salsa every time ensue is uttered. You'll need to give up on Weight Watchers.

I noticed this out of the corner of my awareness several years back.
Ten years ago, no play ensued after the previous play. For crying out loud, it was just the next play.

I bet it was Chris Berman who started to use
ensue; it wouldn't surprise me. Berman of the "back-back-back-back" coinage. That's another one: back-back-back-back -- although this one is so unique no one else could use it except Berman.

But everybody now says, "and on the ensuing play ..."

It really is a study on language: how a word becomes fixed in usage, and what it describes somehow becomes wedded to that word so that no other word would quite do.

Another such word is glom, meaning to latch on to somebody or something, as in: "She really glommed onto him during the trip." Ten years ago, nobody was glomming on to anybody. Now, teenyboppers glom all the time.

(Nobody's ever glommed on to me that I know of; shucks).

Another emerging word is meme. Watch out for this one; I think it has a future. Meme means the thrust of a general narrative someone wants you to believe in. As in, "The Obama Administration's meme is that it's all Bush's fault..." Meme is roughly equal to spin, although I would say meme is the germinal concept for which spin is the action.

Am I getting just a little too OCD about this stuff?

OCD ... that's yet another one. More and more people are somehow OCD ... as in: he's just a little too OCD about that stuff ...

Ten years ago I wasn't OCD.

But now, hey, I am.



Post a Comment