BTW · 15 May 2021
Have you ever noticed that you start using words or phrases that your friends use? Me neither. But I know others do.
(If you thought that I was going to do a blog post about LOL, BTW, AFK, and the like, you were probably surprised by the first line. After all, it might be a fairly entertaining blog post. But it would surely be abbreviated. So maybe I will save it for another time.)
I thought about phrases I have picked up on over the years when I posted my blog one morning. Actually, I was giving my Facebook fans and followers the usual preview on the Thursday before the actual blog post, when I noticed it. “By the way.” It is not a phrase that I would use in normal conversation, but it is a phrase that a friend of mine uses all the time. In written and oral communication. “By the way…” It is his go to statement. (As opposed to a goto statement. Which is another completely different story.)
Okay. Maybe not his go to statement. But he does use it a lot.
Now I am not going to use this friend’s name or even initials, because M will get all excited that I wrote something about him. (It is funny. I like to use the phrase, “Not to mention any names…” and then mention a name. But it does not necessarily work with the written word. Ah well.) Or he will pretend to be mad and scold me. Or he will pretend that he is not the one I was talking about in the first place. (Even if I really do mention his last initial and nickname, R.)
At any rate.
I do tend to pick up phraseology from others. I do not even know why. But I do know that ever since I was a kid, I picked up accents and intonations fairly quickly. We lived in New Mexico for about four years when I was a kid. When we moved back to Colorado, one of my cousins apparently asked why I sounded like a Texican. There is not much more to the story. Just that apparently I had a southern accent all those years ago. (By the way, it is okay if that never really happened because I like the story. And when the story is told enough times, it becomes history. Which, by the way, is not really how history works, but that is another story. Actually, my cousin never refutes the story, so it must be true. And that is how history works. Sorta.)
Where was I? Oh yes. Phraseology.
I am sure there are other phrases I have picked up over the years. Phrases that I would not use on my own, but that I have heard enough times that I pick up on and start to use. The really strange thing is that I notice this about myself. When I use a phrase enough times I wonder. Hmmm. Where did that come from? By the way, that question should be: Who did that come from? Or to appease another friend of mine: From whom did that come? And by the way, if you have not noticed, I have no compunction about ending sentences or questions or phrases with prepositions. Which, by the way, is another story that I wrote about a long time ago.
At any rate.
I suppose that picking up words, phrases, and clauses from other people should be flattering. After all, it means that you are listening to what they are saying. And that you are spending time with them. Which are both good things. (Bet you thought I was going to insert a “by the way…” in there.) After all, spending time with people shows them that you care about them. Or that you have no way of escaping.
By the way, I sometimes write for an audience of two. M&M have been friends and faithful readers for a long time. So when I insert snarky remarks or out of the blue thoughts (Squirrel!), it is often for their amusement.
Well that is about it for today. I have surely rambled on for long enough about words and phrases stolen from friends and neighbors. By the way, it may or may not have taken me a long time to figure out that BTW stands for “By The Way…”
© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi
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