Sunday, 4 September 2011
When I was a mere slip of a lad my parents told me never to “grab”.
That meant that I should never “seize
suddenly”, e.g. a biscuit, or a sweet (candy), or some “seconds” at dinner.
Their point was that I should ask permission before taking a biscuit or a sweet or some leftovers; and that I should “take my turn” in favour of others.
I believe that Mum and Dad’s instincts were good. They were directing my siblings and I into the direction of sharing our limited resources.
Sixty years on both the language and the culture has changed.
Thus we “grab a shower” or “grab a bite to eat”.
It’s a useful enough “shorthand” in speech - a way of indicating that the speaker must accomplish some task or other in a hurry.
Yet I feel some uneasiness when my local Supermarket advertises an in-house “Netflix” service as “Grab a Movie”, or when some Convenience Stores advertise their (mediocre) sandwiches as “Grab ‘n Go”.
I prefer the older ways of speech by which we never “grabbed”, but we asked politely, waited for permission, and then said “thank you”.
J. Michael Povey
Sunday, September 04, 2011
This and that
Sarasota, FL, USA
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