No doubt at some point in the future time the word ‘Brussels sprouts’ may be given a new connotation in the same way the word ‘gay’ has. To me, gay simply means happy, cheerful and colourful, as well as being a girls name.
I don’t know when it took on its modern meaning, but that is no reason to strike its traditional use from history and historical context. Poor Noddy! So, I do wonder if when I’m 100, which is only 30 years away, we won’t be able to have Brussels sprouts with our turkey for Christmas! Personally, I don’t like them so don’t eat them, but I’m just trying to make the point that things have gotten a little silly!
So, let’s grow up and fully embrace the wonderful richness of the English language where words can have multiple meanings, and not allow connotations that have been recently added to historical words to choke to death those traditional meanings that have been with us for centuries.
Words such as jam, bark, nails, mine, set and run have over six hundred different meanings! The five pillars on which Mahatma Gandhi built his life were respect, understanding, acceptance, appreciation and compassion. So, let us respect traditional meanings while understanding that times change and accept new meanings as an appreciation of our wonderful language, while showing compassion to those who use words differently. The alternative is a sort of literary Japanese knotweed.
Talking of being 100, what about Arthur Grisbrook who celebrated is 100th birthday in October. The Metro reported that he claims his longevity is due to eating mixed grills and drinking red wine! Now that’s one for the PC health police to explain if ever there was one!
His favourite meal which he cooks himself is steak, gammon, fried egg, tomato, peas, mushrooms, chips and hash browns! “I eat and drink what I fancy and don’t worry what the so-called experts say”, the Metro quotes. Of course, sense is needed, and he clearly has it, but extremes and fear are never the order of the day!
I don’t know where Arthur lives but maybe I should invite him to share a mixed grill with us at the London Grill Club one day!