David Moseley

Looking for meaning

2013-07-03 08:23

Just halfway through the year and already we've seen enough action in South Africa to last us a lifetime. From homestead erections to explosive athletes, the first part of 2013 has been such a rollercoaster ride that words fail to describe the range of emotions.

In fact, so monumental have some of the stories been this year, that the very meanings of popular words and phrases have been changed forever. Here are a few that will never be the same again.

Compound interest

Previously a financial term that regular folk rarely witnessed in a hard-working lifetime, the phrase now specifically refers to the intense public attention on the construction of the President's new home. An example in a sentence:  "Mac, I can't understand all this Compound Interest from the media and public of South Africa. Don't the people know that I need a Homestead for the Holidays."

Social media

The state of modern journalism, specifically, when media folk scorch themselves into the minds of the public by live-tweeting the mundane events of court cases while shilling their soon-to-be-completed fly-on-the-back-wall books. Example tweet: "Oscar has now entered the building. He looks sad. Read more in my book. Out December 2013."

Can also refer to media patting themselves on the back for said live-tweet reporting. Example retweet:  RT "Oscar has left the building. He looks sad." BB. "Great work BB. You're keeping us glued to the tweetdeck," love, a rival media company employee who would like to hang off your coattails. "PS: when's the book coming out. Would love to read it. LOL".

Budget cuts

Once associated with companies cutting back, but now more commonly associated with family dinners thanks to budget cuts, petrol increases, job scarcity and the general wildly escalating cost of living that no one really seems perturbed about.

Example: Little Jimmy comes home from school with his pals, eager to show off. "Mom, what's for lunch." Try some horse polony in the fridge, son. Or there's donkey droewors in the cupboard. "Ah mom, not the budget cuts again. We just had Badgers Coast for dinner last night?!"

Public service

Originally intended as the job description for politicians and other government officials, but now somewhat inverted when used in a South African context.

Example: "I say, Winnie, the Public Service in this place is quite poor. I ordered my gin and tonic minutes ago, and still nothing." Too true, Jacob. Next thing you know, they'll be asking us to turn the water on. Ha ha ha. Maniacal laugh. Maniacal laugh. Fade to resigned citizen breaking the fourth wall while shrugging shoulders...

Economic Freedom

The ability to walk into a bank and then walk out with more money in your pocket than when you came in. Practiced in some parts of the country already, traditionally with the aid of automatic weapons.

Scavenger hunt

A game played between foreign and local media, to see who can announce the death of Nelson Mandela first with best faux-distressed voice and stomach-churning sympathetic, hushed tones.

- Follow @david_moseley on Twitter.

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