I was in a French restaurant, unobtrusively I thought, testing a small roll of plumpness between finger and thumb. It was my stomach, I hasten to add, and I was feeling pleased with myself, having lost two stone and now weighing in at an almost lissom 11 stone 12 lb.
I squeezed a bit harder estimating the weight I had still to lose. I held it against gravity, in the manner of a master butcher assessing how many sausages it amounted to – three or four pounds perhaps
A sharp voice punctured my dreaming:
“Stop podging. It’s disgusting!”
It was my daughter.
What a wonderful word. And it was new. More grist to the mill for those who dislike our cultural slide into ‘verbing.’
We have the noun Podge: A short fat man or woman, according to the Oxford dictionary. In our neck of the woods it’s a fairly affectionate term for a residual plumpness around the stomach.
But she had it. I was podging. That was it exactly.
I accepted it with pride, even though it meant losing the high ground in linguistic purity. Never again would I be able to decry with authority, bureaucratese like: ‘Let’s conference’ – ‘I’ll signature that’ – ‘statemented’ – ‘actioning’ - ‘tasking’ - ‘impacting’ - ‘We’ll transition.’ But it was worth it. A new word had been born. A Keyton word. Not exactly Shakespeare, but still…
Mind you, as I remarked to Vero a day or to ago not all change is good. My present bête noire is an increasing tendency to preface every sentence with ‘So.’
It's a plague heard across the airwaves when an expert or politician is being interviewed and responds with: 'So...podging…’ It’s an irritating grammatical tic allowing a) the interviewee time to gather his or her thoughts
b) suggesting a spurious academic air at the same time ie 'so...' sounding so much more considered and thoughtful than a simple 'ummm.'
It’s a new terrifying meme almost as bad as the dreaded upward inflection at the end of a sentence that transforms an otherwise clear statement such at ‘It’s raining,’ into a question.
But now I am rambling. Time for a little surreptitious podging, perhaps, and then bed.