SOS. We all know what it signifies. Trouble. Big Trouble.
At the literal level, when we try to unpack the acronym, we get Save Our Souls or Sick Of School or Same Old Song or Sounds Of Silence. Believe me, a shortage of "S" words, there isn't, as I posted just recently.
Generally, though, SOS is one of those acronyms, such as Qantas, that operates as a single unit, so no one feels the need to unpack the initials. Convenience like this usually wins in the end.
In the saving process, the one who saves is always considered worthy. Capsizing boats. Nosediving planes. But also beached whales, endangered species, heritage homes and coral reefs.
Now a new contender asking to be saved has arrived. ITS WORDS!! OLD WORDS...VERY OLD WORDS...Words on the point of oblivion. I have just finished reading an article that Collins Dictionary has launched a Save The Last Word Project for 24 near-extinct words that need public support if they're to hold onto their place on the page.
For a word, axing is the final stage of a long road called dying. First it gets marked as archaic which indicates hospice status. Then teams of lexicographers, like palliative care professionals, convene and consider. They look for evidence of the word's use and, now that we live in an electronic world, that's almost as easy to do as to say. While no one dresses in black or gets out the hymn books, the axing decision is not made lightly!
To pre-empt the death knell, Collins has enlisted the power of celebrity to help save words on the endangered list. Some well-knowns from the media, TV and politics are each adopting an endangered word.
Skirr: the sound made by a bird's wings in flight
Fubsy: short and stout; squat
Caliginosity: dimness; darkness
Periapt: a charm or amulet
During the monitoring period (now until February next year)adopters are to champion their word by introducing it into as many public language opportunitis as they can.
On the Day of Reckoning, the decision to axe or not to axe will be made by Collins on the basis of how well the word has moved beyond its nominal champion's lexicon to a wider natural usage across a range of users and media.
It gives new meaning to "die hard"!!!
This is one of many photos I took at 'Sculpture by the Sea' yesterday.....I thought it was very appropriate to be included in this post.