Thursday, 17 November 2011

Americanisms in the English Language...

I suppose that I'm probably as guilty as most of you when, from time to time, I use American English, slang, and idioms. However, I'm slowly coming to the boil over some so-called words creeping into the language over here, when they should have firmly stayed over there instead.

One, at the time of writing, really stands head and shoulders above the rest for sheer stupidity. It's the use of the word "prepackaged".

When one packages something, one is either wrapping something, or putting something in a box or other form of container. The way the Americanism was used in this case, was by a wholesale trade food supply company. "Prepackaged foods to the food industry", was the slogan on the side of the van, its refrigeration unit, perched on to of the cab, was almost big enough for the diminutive driver to have walked into, I suspect.

The image that emerged, unbidden, from my mind as I read the slogan, was of a cow, walking into the slaughter shed and, as it died, falling apart to land on the ground as a couple of dozen cardboard boxes. It would certainly put a fair few qualified butchers out of work, were this to happen, but that's not the point.

What does "prepackaged" actually *mean*? Anyone?

I do appreciate that English is a constantly evolving language. I also feel that for a word to be used in everyday language, surely it should actually have some meaning, rather than be some kind of buzz-word that someone the other side of the Atlantic thinks sounds 'cool'?

I'd appreciate a few comments on this, if you have the time.

Thanks in advance!


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Roger said...

Thanks, on all counts :) Glad you enjoyed it :)