WHAT IN THE WORD?

As with everything else, the words, phrases, and other forms of expressions that’s been part of the domestic spoken and written lexicon of communication has been evolving for nearly forever. Over time and tide, the way things are said and written advanced for the better or otherwise. What was once the standard method the way things are described may have held off in different means from one generation to the next. It’s just part of how things change as well as how they have remained the same.

Merriam-Webster, the publisher of the dictionary in North America since 1828, recently announced their latest series of words and phrases that has been acknowledged as “real words” to be added to the publisher’s entry into their dictionary, either as a print medium or as something existing within cyberspace–the place where folks usually turn to in order to find out the meaning of a word, or to find out if indeed the word in question is real. (Those Scrabble players usually perform this search in order to rack up points within their game play!)

It isn’t much of a surprise that the for noted cyberspace, or to be specific, social media, has been playing their part in creating new words that have become the way to write, speak, or even text! Within the last twenty-five or so years (give or take), the ‘net and its applications has become a way of life to many, and usage of these words has been so realized, folks may have already assumed that the words and their meanings are just part of the way everyone talks, writes, and texts.

For starters, there’s the word “influencer” that means (according to Merriam-Webster) “a person who is able to generate interest in something (such as a consumer product) by posting about it on social media.”

Then there is “buzzy” “…causing or characterized by a lot of speculative or excited talk or attention : generating buzz”: “tweetstorm” “…a series of many, often impassioned tweets posted in quick succession on the social media site Twitter”: “gig economy” “..economic activity that involves the use of temporary or freelance workers to perform jobs typically in the service sector”: and “on-brand” “..appropriate to, typical of, consistent with, or supportive of a particular brand.”. These, among many other words currently in use or soon to be created, are now part of the method of how we speak, talk, etc.

Of course, words and phrases fade in and out over the years. Some words that then had one meaning are now referred to as something else. Perhaps the most obvious term is the word “gay”, where up until the 1960’s meant “happy” and “joyous”. And there have been some words that also became popular and well known thanks to the communication that was as nearly everyone’s disposal. In the early 1960’s when “gay” still meant “happy”, The term “A-OK” fall into the lexicon since astronaut Allen Shepard used it quite often in his space flights stating “everything’s A-OK!” During that same time, the term “I kid you not!” became popular when Jack Parr used it quite often when he was host on NBC’s The Tonight Show. And when one wanted to describe the human race of some sort, it was referred to as “man” as in “mankind”. Since women are also part of the said human race, the term “man” changed in the 1970’s as “the human race”, thanks to the woman’s liberation (“woman’s lib”) movement that was going on back then.

But the way that everyone communicates will be adding new words, while dropping a few on the wayside since their meaning doesn’t hold the impact as it once did. Some of those wayside words were replaced by others such as “groovy” to “awesome”. But that is how methods of speech keep up to date, as well as how the user may evolve over their total verbiage.

It will be hard to say how such terms as “tweetstorm” will hold up in twenty years. The ‘net and its applications are a fickle bunch as many trends connected to this cyberspace tends to come and go. After all, is the term “chat room” still dropped around nowadays? (For the record, the Merriam-Webster’s meaning calls it “a real-time online interactive discussion group”)

But words as they are will be around until somebody invents a form of communication where thought patterns will be used without the forms of written and printed speech. And that form of communication isn’t as far off as one may realize! It’s coming soon to a chatroom (or is it a tweetstorm?) near you!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Santa Monica Playhouse presents as its world premier, Jerry Meyer’s MISTAKES WERE MADE-COULDA-WOULDA-SHOULDA, a play about three old friends that reunite after a bitter disagreement, only for them to also reunite with the errors they made in their lives, and to realize they those mistakes can be corrected.

The place is Canter’s Deli, located not too far off from Hollywood. Dick Turner (Paul Linke), Jeff Cohen (Greg Berger), and Mel Friedman (Kyle T. Heffner), a trio of sitcom writers, meet at their favorite spot after a fifteen year leave of absence. It seems that these three had an argument over if Jewish writers are funnier then gentile writers. However, it seems that a truce should be held. From there, Dick, Jeff, and Mel confess that they themselves made many mistakes that could have been avoided, but were not. These three are aware that they are in the “late autumn” in their lives, and it’s not worth the effort of taking their disagreements to their graves. Although what they did can’t be reversed, that doesn’t mean that they could avoid such errors in the future. It’s not a story of what they should have done, but a tale of what they can do to further detour their misevaluations–with a few laughs added along the way!

This latest entry by legendary sitcom writer Jerry Meyer creates a play that shows how a group of friends that’s been around for a while can prove they are not as perfect as they may appear to be, even if each one became a success in their own right. They did experience quite a lot, and much of that “lot” became a collection of valuable lessons. That is what makes this play a portrait of a slice of life. (The playwright’s life really, but it is adaptable for many others; Be it of sitcom writers, or others that were far from perfect!) The three leads, Paul Linke, Greg Berger, and Kyle T. Heffner as Jeff, Mel, and Dick, play out their roles as three classic friends that really need one another, even if they don’t always see eye-to-eye. Their personna are depicted as a bunch of old coots stuck in their ways, but they laugh off this fact! They know what they did and are willing to change, even if they remained stubborn for a brief generation. Chris DeCarlo, co-artistic director of the Santa Monica Playhouse, directs this program that shows wit and heart. A few of the flashback scenes depicted may be projected as bittersweet. However, that is what life is all about; Comedy and drama all rolled into one!

In addition to the above members of the cast, Matt Fowler, Rachel Galper, and Christine Joelle also appear as various characters that made up the life and times of three joke writers that never lost their style of being funny!

James Cooper provides the lighting, set, and video projections that move each scene to the next, and Steve Mayer (son of the playwright), creates the musical score that is mostly background and transition music–the kind of music usually heard in TV sitcoms that are noticed for its dramatic effect around a visual show that is far from drama! But this show is funny as it stands, so comical music may be amusing, but not necessary!

For a single act production, this show is simple yet sweet. There are no real “mistakes” seen here. It could ask the time tested question if one has a chance to do their life all over again, would it be done in the same way. The answer is to perform all of the mistakes a lot sooner! Whatever the case, this show is a keeper, and that’s soon enough!

MISTAKES WERE MADE COULDA-WOULDA-SHOULDA, presented by and performs at The Santa Monica Playhouse’s 2nd stage, 1211 4th Street (at Wilshire Blvd.), Santa Monica, until June 30th. Showtimes are Saturday nights at 7:30 PM, and Sunday matinees at 3:30 PM. For ticket reservations or for more details, call (310) 394-9779 ext. 1, or online at http://www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com/Mistakes.html
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2019 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

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