And other problems with talking to young people
I’ll be there in a Jiff, I called down to my son.
A GIF? That’s weird dad.
No, a JIFF, I replied.
No boy, a JIFF - that’s J - I - F - F!!! What the hell are they teaching you in school?
They’re teaching us what they’re teaching. What’s a ‘Jiff’ Dad?
A Jiff, like in a jiffy, as in ‘Jiffy Lube’. A Jiffy, it means, quickly.
Why don’t they just call it ‘Quick lube’ or ‘Quickly lubed’ then?
Because my son, that sounds obscene.
Any business with the word ‘lube’ in the title is fundamentally suspect as such, ‘Jiffy Lube’ sounds just as obscene as ‘quick lube’.
A quick trip to the thesaurus makes things worse. Say these words aloud, perhaps not too loudly - especially if you’re at work or sitting on public transit:
sudden, swift and nimble lube
Who wants any of that when you can get your lube in a Jiffy?
‘Jiffy’, is a great word. I thought it was something from the turn of the century. It turns out, its origins are much further back:
1785, "a moment, an instant, short space of time," colloquial, origin unknown; said to have been thieves' slang for "lightning."
Good old ‘lightning lube’.
Lubed by lightning.
That doesn’t make sense based on my cursory knowledge of the natural sciences.
But it does make sense with my son’s earlier confusion.
A ‘jiff’ is a quick moment. A GIF that’s new, funny and fresh?
They travel around minds even quicker than lightening.
This seems to indicated that the GIF’s of my son, move quicker than the Jiff’s of me, his father.
I guess that’s how things should be.
He’s already exceeded me. His GIF’s are more powerful than my lightning quick jiff’s.
Ideas change, words change, language changes. Things that used to be understood easily are becoming less a part of the culture while others arise.
And it’s all happening in a GIF.
It’s like the old saying goes:
No such thing as too much lube, but there is such a thing as too many lube jokes.