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Male Panel Under The Microscope

By now you’re quite familiar (maybe even a little too familiar) with my lovely Male Panel. Over the past few months they’ve given us a fascinating (and often hilarious) peek into the male psyche but I’ve decided I need to take it up a notch and give you a more detailed look at what goes on in the male mind. So, without further adieu, I introduce to you our very first Male Panel Column courtesy of the ruggedly handsome Shaun. Enjoy ...

Making it up as we go along

"Of harmes two the lesse is for to cheese."

The quote above may look like the type of language used by primary school pupils who’ve not yet been given textbooks, or an attempt at writing by someone who spends more time playing video games than reading. The quote is in fact from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde. The language used probably makes little sense to anyone except those with formal linguistics or English literature studies and not without reason. Chaucer wrote this tragic love story well over 600 years ago in what would later be known as Middle English.

Fast-forward a few centuries to find that “twerking” is now in the dictionary. I fully understand why some people might be upset. The most well-known proponent at this point in time is Miley Cyrus whose on-stage twerk with Robin Thicke is thought to have resembled a visit to the gynaecologist more than it did a dance move. A few days later she showed her disregard for safety on a construction site by not wearing a hard hat while writhing naked on a wrecking ball. I’m just glad for her sake that of the all tools she decided to lick she chose a hammer and not something with a blade.

But whether or not we like the word, action, or celebrity linked with a particular action is irrelevant. Language evolves. Three hundred years from now people in shiny tinfoil suits will be sitting on the porch of their floating home on Mars, using the microchip in their brains to send and receive data from sources around the globe. Our future human will decide to browse what will then be known as “The Ancient World Wide Web” and discover this column. And despite the human race’s technological advancements and ability to clone children that are intelligent, physically perfect and able to change their own diapers from birth, our future human will attempt to read this column and think, “WTF?”

Once again, language will have evolved. New words will have been created, some will have been lost, some will have been changed. While our future human will have the benefit of using his high-speed data connection to view a history of language, we are dealing with language that is in a state of flux. It’s not as if one day you will speak an entirely different language to your child, but the chances are they will use the odd word or phrase that was not around when you were growing up.

I had no idea what a “selfie” was because when a new word appears on the scene, there is no email sent to mankind to announce its arrival and meaning. We have to figure out for ourselves. How was I to know that a “selfie” is a photograph you take of yourself using your phone’s camera? The word sounds like it should have more to do with masturbation than photography. My misunderstanding led to an awkward moment on a crowded dance floor at a nightclub.

Do I like the word “twerk”? No. In my head “twerk” is what an alien would say when he accidentally hits his thumb with a hammer. (Fortunately our alien will not need to worry about a dirty wound as the hammer has already been licked clean by Ms. Cyrus). Could I ever see myself twerking? No. Unless I have had a lot to drink, but my feeling is that level of inebriation required for me to twerk would result in alcohol poisoning first.

By Shaun Wewege
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