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1:49 am - Thurs 7/22/04
The Missing \"P\"
Thurs 7/22/04 (12:22 a.m.)

The Missing "P"

I wonder about poop.

What I mean is, I wonder where the final "p" in "poop" went to.

I noticed some years back that everyone had suddenly started saying "poo" instead of "poop", and I felt like "I didn't get the memo". And to be honest, I don't really understand it; I mean, it's not as if "poop" is particulary difficult to say, and being just four letters, it doesn't seem like it really needed to be abbreviated.

I think I wonder about this because I've always liked the word "poop". I may be 43-going-on-5, but saying it, hearing it said, or reading it, it always makes me want to laugh.

And I think that final "p" is what makes the word funny. You have that "oo" sound, then the final "p" at the end, that "pinches off" the little loaf of a word (If not strictly onomatopoeia, it's "onomatopoeia-esque").

I just don't think "poo" is nearly as fun a word to say, or to hear other people say.

(Now can anyone explain the word "dookie" to me...?)

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John O. and I have talked, on more than once occasion, about one of the signs of aging being the aging of your cultural references. You start feeling "old" when you make pop-culture references–to old tv shows or songs or what-have-you–and instead of amused recognition, you get a blank stare (Or worse--"Ummm...I wasn't actually alive in the 70's...").

This is what happens when you're a 40-something guy working with people who are, in some cases, less then half your age (On the other hand, there are a group of us at the store, in the late-30s/early 40s age bracket, who do understand each other's references; just the other day, AJ made a "Pebbles and Bam-Bam" comment, and was almost absurdly grateful when I picked up on it).

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Sometimes I think new slang is fine, but I still can't bring myself to use it, because it would replace a phrase I already use, something I still think is quite serviceable.

For example, I've noticed that when I say "excuse me", or apologize for some minor error or potential slight, that the person will often respond now by saying "No worries...".

I think the phrase is a little vague–"What do you mean, ‘no worries'? Do you mean I shouldn't worry, or you're not worried, or what?"–but you get the idea; basically, nobody has been offended or hurt by the situation. It's certainly a polite, pleasant-enough response, and I can't really fault it.

Where did the phrase come from, by the way? Does anyone know?

(I can't explain why, exactly, but it sounds foreign to me. Like it started in England or someplace, then eventually made its way over here. It just doesn't sound quite "American" to me to say "no worries".)

I don't think I've ever responded to someone bumping into me or inconveniencing me in some minor way by saying "No worries".

If I'm in a bad mood, I'll sometimes respond by saying "I'll kill you, ya hear me? KILL you!!!".

But more often, I'll just say "Not a problem", or sometimes, if I'm rushed, "no problem". And I think that's a fairly clear statement–"You might have thought you were in for some trouble, but in reality, we are not going to have a problem"–so I don't see a reason to start saying "No worries" just because that's the current vogue in disarming statements.

 

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