I’ve been learning some new words and phrases to add to my vocabulary. Though there may be thousands of words in the English language, they say most of us only employ 600-700 in normal, everyday communication. You’ll recognize a new, 2017 phrase, “alternative facts”. It started with Kelly Anne Conway who has managed to take eyebrow raising bafflegab to new heights. We see a lot of fruit drinks fortified with alcohol now that are made to appeal to young people. The word for these is “alcopop”. Does the word “captcha” ring a bell?
Here’s an interesting perspective on today’s social media phenomenon: a couple in Ontario refused to sign off on a photo waiver at their son’s school that would allow for photographs and videos of their child to be posted on social media. Because they refused to sign the waiver their son won’t appear in the class picture and, the parents say, he has even been excluded from some class projects. The school board pointed out that it would be impossible to prevent photos of their son ending up online somehow and that’s probably true.
Political promises made in the heat of an election campaign can come back to bite a government after it is elected. Sometimes it bites even though the promise was kept. You might recall the Harper government enacted legislation that would see Old Age Security eventually start at age 67 rather than 65. The Liberals promised to overturn this new policy and they did just that. Now, the Advisory Council on Economic Growth appointed by Finance Minister Bill Morneau is suggesting a good way to take advantage of keeping older people in the workforce is to encourage Canadians to delay retirement by raising the eligibility age for OAS as well as the CPP.
Valentine’s Day has come again, named after Saint Valentine, a Roman who was martyred on February 14, 269 AD or CE, whatever is correct to say now for refusing to give up Christianity. The Roman Emperor, Claudius was having a tough time finding men for his legions because they didn’t want to leave home and their loved ones, so Claudius forbid anyone getting married.
Upon arriving back in chilly Saskatchewan from the annual Coffeetalk Vacation last week I noticed some things never change, such as winter weather and rabid hockey fans. I shook my head at the story about the minor hockey referees who were suspended after calling an end in the third period to that bantam game in Hague because of what the refs called irate and abusive fans. There have always been some parents and coaches who think their kid’s team is full of angels and the other team’s players are devils while the officials are either blind or at the least favour the other guys.