Vocabulary School

Every once in a while a phrase I hear in conversation catches my attention. It tends to be something that someone else will use as if it is something everyone is using as a part of regular vocabulary. Over the past two weeks a couple of phrases have captured my imagination because I’d personally not heard them and quite frankly had to seek out their definitions.


One evening Aimee was explaining some frustrations with an event at work and said, “I felt like they were gaslighting me.”


“Gaslighting?” I had to ask for clarification.


It turns out that gaslighting is a term which basically means to mess with someone’s mind by denying reality or twisting facts or the environment slowly over time to confuse someone.


The way the phrase was used it was as if it was something we all should know. I was curious so investigated a bit.


The mystery was solved when Aimee mentioned that Steely Dan, a band that is one of her top favorites, has a tune that uses gaslighting in the title.


The second phrase to catch my curiosity happened while attending some training at work. Someone mentioned that they thought the event had “jumped the shark”. Next I saw the same phrase used in three different e-mails. I figured the meaning of this phrase from context for the most part but it was still interesting to search out the definition and origin. I guess I’m not up on my pop culture.


As for the definition of jump the shark, let’s just say that a blog post on what words I find interesting is likely jumping already.

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