24 October, 2012
Topics for the Wordplay column can come from any quarter. Like Hansard, or blogs, or TV, or ad-speak, but the latest manna fell from the lips of teens, my daughter in fact. Her latest buzzword is YOLO – You Only Live Once.
Sounds very carpe diem to anyone with a classical bent, or at least saw Dead Poets Society (punctuation?), but YOLO can be used with a pinch of sarcasm too. If a teen has forgotten her lunch, say, and so needs to scrimp at the tuckshop using small change, she may yodel YOLO as a statement of mock-defiance to her peers.
Other writers, like Boston Globe scribe Ben Zimmer, suggest the acronym is copping the backlash version too: You Obviously Lack Originality. Or the reply of YOYO: You On Your Own. While spymaster Ian Fleming evidently subscribed to the YOLT outlook.
Have you struck the slang in your unique life? Where and how? Have you heard variations on the theme? Do share. YOLO: You Opine Likewise Online. Thanks.