New year brings in need for translatorsby

By Marc Alberts

It’s 1991 now and the world is changed.

The world is different not only in the usual sense, as in the nightly news or Cher’s new boyfriend – the way we speak to each other has changed. The words we use are new or they mean other things. Even the four-letter ones.

Below is a list of words or terms that literate 90s kind of people need to master so as not to seem as if they have dropped in from another planet or a 70s drug high.

-album- A two-sided piece of graphic artwork made or cardboard and supported internally by a black vinyl disc. Formerly associated with sound recording.

-New Age music- Cliffs Notes for classical music. Rhymes with “sewage” when properly pronounced.

-infomercial- A half hour commercial (?!), usually broadcast after midnight. Infomercials are hot and are being considered by the Networks for the 1992 prime time lineup.

-Nintendo- A legal narcotic.

-savings and loans- Institutions whose main function is to persuade people to place their money and small valuables in their mattresses.

-song stylist- What a “Hollywood Squares” celebrity or Star Trek veteran becomes when put out to pasture.

-dolphin-free tuna- Preferential treatment based on the notion that only animals who pass a “smartass” test should be spared wanton slaughter. This is currently not applicable to humans.

-Greenhouse Effect- The effect of sunlight on a glass house enabling plants to grow in a warm environment.

-PC- “Politically correct”. This is the hot new fad in the college administration circuit, and an effective way of subverting the First Amendment.

-color, charm, strangeness- Characteristics of sub-atomic particles.

-Moe, Larry, Curly – Character models for sub-atomic particle theorists.

-Yuppie- What you call someone who like to own different name-brand, status-symbol, materialistic things than you do.

-redneck- The only acceptable “PC” derogatory racial stereotype.

-Communism- A failed socioeconomic theory whose last surviving adherents are found among American university faculty.

-nuclear winter – A theoretically effective but untried method of ending inflation, the savings and loan scandal, the Mideast crisis, the War On Drugs, the rising crime rate and sunburn.

-perestroika- A Russian idea for restructuring their country that is popularly received in every nation in the world except Russia.

-budget deficit- The first scientifically confirmed discovery of a black hole.

-oil- a dark, poisonous lubricant and fuel that has replaced democracy and freedom as the thing American soldiers must fight and die for.

-Vietnam- The most common subject of Hollywood movies in the last decade.

-Made In America- A term denoting an inferior imitation of a Japanese product.