|Faneuil Hall and Samual Adams in Quicney Market, Boston (7/27/12).|
|Purchased at Faneuil Hall.|
At one end of the Market, not long after exiting "The T", we stopped to look around the gift kiosk inside the Faneuil Hall. It was there that I found the small button exclaiming "Huzzah!" (left). This got me thinking...
Having employed the interjection on occasion during class, I know the blank stares of students who have no idea what you've said, so I purchased the button as a conversation starter around the changeable nature of the English language. A point further reinforced this past summer with the announcement of addition of new words to Webster's Dictionary (like "f-bomb" and "sexting") to Webster's Dictionary, it is extremely valuable for students to recognize the at our language is continually evolving around us.
This is especially true as many of these changes, including those not included in any "respectable" dictionary, are the result of their use by the youth culture, though not many students use other new additions like "obesogenic" and "flexitarian," so there remains a role for we older cats in developing language, too. (Be prepared: It's not a stretch to project the future inclusion texting and online jargon into more common usage in the not-too-distant future.)
For those of you, like I, looking to bring an oldie-but-goody back, I invite you to continue using "huzzah." Just because a term has fallen out of common usage doesn't mean it can't be prime fro a comeback, just be sure to use it correctly let it return with a different connotation. Our friends at Wikipedia (with a touch of Dictionary.com phonetics) can define it more expediently than I:
huzzah ([huz·zah] also [h-zä])is "an archaic English interjection of joy or approbation. According to the Oxford English Dictionary it is 'apparently a mere exclamation' ...used to express joy, encouragement, or triumph. Whatever its origins, it has seen occasional literary use since at least the time of Shakespeare."Historically , "huzzahs" were given before a bayonet charge, as a way of building morale and intimidating the enemy. The interjection can still be heard in a more modern context (tongue in cheek) at regatta's by rowing crews to celebrate victories with a chant of "hip hip huzzah" or (where most folks, including my students) have experienced it, at Renaissance Festivals.
Huzzah for English, and for school starting soon, too!