|Mind your head!|
I'd meant to comment on an article last month about disappearing words. It was the two headline words that caught my eye. The Guardian version began "Aerodrome and charabanc are among the words presumed to have become extinct in the past year, according to lexicographers. Collins Dictionary experts have compiled a list of words which have fallen out of use by tracking how often they appear."
The article went on to mention several other words most of which I had not heard of except for supererogate (to perform more than is required) which I know from the study of Romanist teaching, which claims that some did more than enough and so have merit to share with others.
Aerodrome is of interest to me in connection with my father and charabanc with my grandfather. When my late father had a stroke some years ago he made a pretty full recovery. At first however I noticed him using the word aerodrome instead of airport. I would guess that something had happened in his brain to cause him to revert to the older word, which he would have learned first before airport replaced it.
Charabanc takes me to a story my grandfather would tell and that my father would repeat as I do to warn kids against sticking their heads out of the widow of a moving vehicle. My grandfather was once on a charabanc outing when a fellow stuck his head out and got it knocked off by a telegraph pole!
When you are young and hear an older person use an unfamiliar, especially an old fashioned word, it always seems strange (my dad would talk about alleys (pronounced aallees) not marbles, football togs not football kit, ashcart not rubbish lorry and the picture house not ... we'll come to that. Also the now quite unacceptable half-caste). It's strange then to be caught using words that my own sons find strange. Eg I still tend to say training shoes rather than trainers, pictures rather than cinema. My boys also pick me up on junior school rather than primary school and being in goals rather than in goal. I think as you get older you become more stubborn. I obviously made switch somewhere along the line from continental quilt to duvet quite easily but these other words I find difficult to alter.