Following on from my amazing fascinating and intellectually inquisitive blog post about the use of the word “hark” in modern day language, I started thinking about other words that are under used and really shouldn’t be. (Yes work is a bit scarce at the moment. How did you guess?) I was thinking about the use of the word “whelm”. People seem more than happy to bandy around the fact that they might be overwhelmed, the word “under whelmed” is used (though it seems to be less common). But what about “whelm”? Why does nobody feel the need to express a state of whelm. In fact, I would go so far as to say that many of the people who claim to be overwhelmed are in fact, in actuality only really whelmed. The word “whelm” means “overcome, as with emotions or perceptual stimuli”. I would therefore argue that most people are wrongly stating that they are overwhelmed, when a simple statement of being whelmed is most likely much more accurate. So why do people feel the need to be so histrionic about a simple case of the whelms? So maybe next time you recklessly go to bandy around the notion that you are overwhelmed, perhaps you should pause to think about whether a simple declaration of whelm will suffice in this instance. Maybe save the overwhelm statement to something more dramatic that deserves it. If we all made a conscious and concerted effort to be more sincere and truthful about expressing how whelmed we actually are, then maybe one day the word “overwhelm” will once more have an impact, rather than simply being a term we frivolously and thoughtlessly bandy around. OK?
Now, something that definitely will warrant the term “overwhelming” will be the first southside Podcast of 2010. I discovered today that the company that host the podcasts are disbanding their service so that we can’t upload any knew material. Fortunately, I may have found a better alternative and we’ll be launching a new series of podcasts very soon, along with a new exciting podcast that I’m planning on making. Prepare to have your whelm horizons well and truly broadened.
Yours whelmingly, David Eagle