Jumping sharks and dropping mics
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. A fascinating treat for writers, linguists, and lovers of language with a book entirely about idioms with a study of how certain ones stemmed from our "modern" sources of TV and movies (and more), only to become embedded in our language today. This tour provided takes you through some of these phrases and explores why these idioms have become important to our everyday vocab. The primary focus of this book is on the specific idioms that have entered our language in the more recent decades (after the creation of TV catchphrases and movies). As someone who has always appreciated the various tweaks of our language that makes it stand out, it's fun to see deeper exploration on idioms already known and ones that haven't been heard of. The book explores how modern conveniences and extracurriculars have given way to notable phrases and how some shifted in meaning by strange means. An example is how Friends (the show that everyone knows) was given credit with popularizing "the friend zone," "being commando," "being on a break," and a "moo point", along with other major pop culture additions (everyone knows "the Rachel" haircut).
Examples of these famous phrases include "Can I phone a friend," "shrimp on the barbie," "not in Kansas anymore," and popular things like "bucket list" and "groundhog's day." We all know these sayings and most have seen where they've been derived from but it's so commonly used that how many really think about where they've come from. Then there are things that have brought so much popularity that made-up languages have been incorporated such as "Star Wars" terminology being highly influential on our language. Delves into phrases we're all familiar with such as Frankenstein's monster, Jekyll and Hyde, the scarlet letter, and any phrase from Alice in Wonderland. There are common phrases we use that perhaps we don't know actually came from such as brave new world (from The Tempest), dead as a doornail (from Henry VI), and break the ice (from Taming the Shrew). What's with the name? Jump the shark means that a TV show (or other entertainment franchise) has run out of ideas that are logical and have resorted to something ludicrous (or completely off base with the reality of the show) in an attempt to bolster ratings. Nuke the fridge (coming from "Indiana Jones") is another way of saying "jump the shark" though with a more unique twist on it. ~ LM Konkel-Dixon (Reviewer), NetGalley