Class Warfare Blog

July 2, 2020

I Am So Tired of OMG

Filed under: Culture,language — Steve Ruis @ 10:13 am
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It seems when people express any kind of wonder or awe or surprise or excitement, they respond by uttering “Oh My God!” (OMG). Christians tend to substitute “Oh My Gosh.”

Aside The “gosh” used by Christians has the benefit of a hard G sound so is a good substitute for God. The “gosh” stands for the Land of Goshen which was named in the Bible as the place in Egypt given to the Hebrews by the pharaoh of Joseph, and the land from which they later left Egypt at the time of the Exodus. It was located in the eastern Delta of the Nile, lower Egypt. Since the Exodus is fictional, possibly the land is, too.

This OMG exclamation is so ubiquitous, that I cannot remember what we used to say in such circumstances before this term became prominent. Children of the 60’s used to say Awesome! and “Far out! a lot. Go back a bit further and “It’s wonderful, it’s marvelous” was popularized by George Gershwin.

I am oh, so, tired of OMG, which I think began as a manifestation of Valley Girl Speak, but I may be wrong about that.

Will someone please invent a less irritating substitute?

7 Comments »

  1. OMG is proof, sigh that few are using their own mind. Sigh, is another one that sucks ass. Acronyms in general that become idioms are annoying

    Like

    Comment by jim- — July 2, 2020 @ 11:32 am | Reply

  2. Baal’s Balls!

    Like

    Comment by john zande — July 2, 2020 @ 11:38 am | Reply

    • By the Great Hairy Balls of Ba’al! Has a nice ring to it. I knew you could deliver. Now I need somebody on Twitter to start a #BaalsBalls campaign … hmmm.

      On Thu, Jul 2, 2020 at 11:38 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — July 2, 2020 @ 11:42 am | Reply

  3. The term OMG was invented by Admiral Sir John Fisher; he first used it in a letter he wrote to Winston Churchill on 9 September 1917. Of itself, it was a typical ‘Fisherism’, characteristic of the way this deeply devout, colourful and controversial admiral spoke and wrote, and the context of the comment – a slightly sarcastic reference to showering new honours on the Admiralty – was his bitterness at losing a power-struggle in 1915 when he managed to bring down the Asquith government, but failed to get himself made Lord High Admiral and, in effect, was sidelined thereafter. I have his autobiography, where he published the letter a few years later. How the term became common more recently, however, is another story, and I am pretty sure today’s currency doesn’t refer to the Admiral’s correspondence.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Matthew Wright — July 2, 2020 @ 4:19 pm | Reply

    • Fascinating! People who wrote many letters often used every shortcut they could think of (my favorite was using the first letter of the word they wanted and then a line was drawn to represent the rest of the word).

      You sure that wasn’t a royal order, maybe the Order of the Mighty Grand or the Order of Male Goons?

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — July 3, 2020 @ 12:44 pm | Reply

      • Yes, I am quite sure it wasn’t either of those! 🙂 Here’s a blog post I wrote about the term, also reproducing Fisher’s original letter: https://mjwrightnz.wordpress.com/2017/09/09/omg-its-the-centenary-of-omg/ – he was a relentless user of short-cuts and graphical devices in his hand-writing. I think the OED now credits Fisher as the deviser of the term. He very clearly did invent it originally: but I do sometimes wonder whether the modern usage was actually a re-invention: the phrase ‘Oh my God’ wasn’t original to Fisher and I am not sure that his writings are all that well known.

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        Comment by Matthew Wright — July 5, 2020 @ 12:57 am | Reply

        • That was my initial thought … he may have been the first to use it in print, but not necessarily the “Typhoid Mary” of OMG.

          On Sun, Jul 5, 2020 at 12:57 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — July 5, 2020 @ 9:52 am | Reply


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