How New Terms Come Into Being

Posted: October 20, 2014 in Humor, Language Use

by Earl Lee

(reposted from Earl’s Libraries in the Age of Mediocrity blog)


Last week I realized that an email with a draft document I had sent to Dr. Z**** last year had gone unanswered. He’d never commented on it or even acknowledged receiving it.

Everyone in the library is aware that Dr. Z**** (a D.Ed., as you may suspect) rarely if ever responds to emails, phone calls, or any other form of electronic communication.  On this campus he has become legendary!

So I forwarded the draft to my boss in another email, this time referring to Dr. Z’s tendency to drop the ball.  Unfortunately, I mangled the expression in the sentence:

“Here is another one of Dr. Z’s ball droppings.”

It was only after I sent the email that I realized just how nasty this sounded. I was not trying to imply that Dr. Z**** is a “teabagger” or anything else. I guess this is how the English language grows through mutation.

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