Ah, language: That thing we use to prevent communication from being reduced to a system of blinking. The trouble, however, begins with the fact that language has a habit of changing and evolving. Today’s rude slang word is tomorrow’s popularly accepted word, which becomes a dictionary term the day after. If you went back to the past, the language even in English-speaking countries would sound like some sort of alien-ese that couldn’t be deciphered by the linguistic experts of either Klingon or Elfish.
It’s at this point that I should pause to remind you that Klingon and Elfish are both fictional languages and that, despite being fictional, they ARE languages. Not like pig latin – which is just an annoying way of revising English – but LANGUAGES, with proper words, pronunciations, sentence structures, and words which condense entire ideas into a singular expression or term. Let that sink in. Also consider the fact that to avoid linguistic confusion between international boundaries, scientists use terms in latin in order to maintain a sense of universality. Latin has been dead in common usage for thousands of years.
That doesn’t mean all the changes will be for the better, though. Slang comes and goes in ridiculous and sometimes ugly trends. That’s why I’ve created the annual Acid Martini Award, which I named after the drink I would serve to anyone I heard using the worst, most annoying slang words in English. I started them a couple of years ago, giving out awards to a battalion of words and phrases that cropped up which I considered an insult to our Germanic lingual roots. Then I relocated, meaning I skipped them last year. But now, this is going to be a yearly thing, as I award the word, phrase, or expression which got under my skin the most during the last year. This year, the winner of the Acid Martini Award is…
No, I don’t have anything against your favorite toast spread. But that’s the problem I’m having. If “jelly” were still a reference to something you digested, I would consider it normal and not bother it again. But lately its come to the forefront of my list of annoying truncations: “Jelly” is apparently the truncated way of saying “jealous.”
It’s also a case point for what the oldens hate about the millennials. As far as truncations go, “jelly” has an unpleasant and valley vapidity to it. If the movie Clueless was 20 years younger, Cher and Di would have been spitting it at a rate which would force its viewers to jam rail spikes into their skulls, and the movie wouldn’t be the cult classic it is now. Say it aloud to yourself and you can project the full valley girl picture in front of you.
The greatest absurdity is that “jelly” doesn’t even shorten the word. Both “jelly” and “Jealous” contain the same number of syllables, so it’s not as if you’re even saving yourself a mouthful or any unpleasant things you’re forcing your tongue to do.