The Editorial Apartment

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Regional differences for the names of things

What time is supper—I mean, dinner? When I lived in the Midwestern United States, I drank “soda pop,” wore “sneakers” and ate “supper.” Here in California, people don’t do that. They order a “soft drink,” wear “tennis shoes” and cook “dinner” instead. Watch this video by Mental Floss for a fast rundown of more words and phrases for everyday things that differ by region within the country or within the English-speaking world.

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You only live once

“YOLO!” exclaimed a friend one day at the end of our conversation, “You only live once!” This is new slang that kids are using nowadays. My friend had just learned it from a former teen student of his. It’s an amusing expression at least; I like its spirit. Here’s a post on Visual Thesaurus about it: Further Adventures of YOLO

On the opposite end is the new word “meh”—which isn’t that new according to this article from The Guardian. I’ve noticed the word appearing more and more on online review sites and blogs. I’m not sure I really understand it. It’s more like a sound, a mellow grunt. It means so so or mediocre, or that you’re indifferent: How did you like that restaurant? Meh. I’ve had better soba noodles elsewhere.

It may be a little silly, this YOLO expression, but meh is meh. The same friend took off recently for a long trip across the country. I say now to him, if a little sheepishly, buen viaje and YOLO!