I have a hard enough time remembering the words I learned in school without the pressure of having to learn the hundreds of new words being invented each year.
Take “Google bombing” for instance.
Today, I learned “Google bombing” is a word. While it’s natural to think this word means to bomb someone with googles, it actually has something to do with getting a certain Web site to pop up first on Google.com when a certain word is punched in.
So let’s say I type “Joe Grace” into the search bar at Google.com. The first entry is Joe Grace Statistics, a listing of batting statistics for Joe Grace, an outfielder with the St. Louis Browns in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
I didn’t even know there used to be a baseball team called the St. Louis Browns. Or that I used to play for them. I really need to start keeping a journal.
But let’s say I wanted something other than Joe Grace Statistics to pop up first when “Joe Grace” is type into Google.com’s search bar. Let’s say I wanted the Charismatic Llamas Web site to pop up first with “Joe Grace.” Well, then I would do some computer stuff to make that happen. (I’m not exactly sure what that computer stuff is. If I did, charismatic llamas would already be indelibly linked with Joe Grace.) This, my friends, is Google bombing.
Yesterday, I had no idea what Google bombing meant. Today, I am a more knowledgeable and potentially more dangerous man. However, because of the fact my brain now contains a file titled, “Google bombing,” I’m sure it has already deleted one of the other files in my “Words I’m Pretty Sure I Know the Meaning Of” folder. The word probably won’t be important. Maybe it will be hibiscus (a pretty flower). Maybe it will be bologna (yucky meat). But it could be an important word like “help.” And then where would I be?
I’ll tell you where I’d be. Up a creek without a … without a … oh, you know, it’s an oar-like object.