Putting a Pin In It

Recently I have become aware of a new phrase that has crept into our popular culture and me—being the words-person that I am—am intrigued by it. The phrase I am referring to is: “Let’s put a pin in it!” Basically defined it means: Let’s plan on doing <insert the name of said activity/task/chore/meeting here> at SOME point in time… just not THIS particular point in time.

I have not personally used the phrase but have observed it being used on at least three different TV shows this season. I’m not sure where it started or how long it has been around… yet I cannot help but wonder with all of the interest circling a little thing called Pinterest these days… Is there a connection?

I was introduced to Pinterest by a blog called Becoming Cliche. She was beginning to examine the social networking and idea-sharing site and discussing Pinterest’s false exclusivity and how she wanted so badly to be a member, that is, until they accepted her as a member. You see, everyone eventually gets to be a member, whether you are invited to join by another member or you shamelessly solicit membership directly FROM the site itself.

Anyway, I managed to stay away from this addicting site, that is, until a friend invited me to join since I would be doing some redecorating in the near future. It was then that I realized how many of my friends were already on it and how active they all were in generating these virtual bulletin boards bursting with fun, fresh ideas from fashion, decorating and design to books, movies and basic car repair.

The trouble is, I’ve been too busy with my move to actually get into creating my OWN board and it is making me feel like a super, cyber slacker. Everyday I see my inbox grow with messages that another friend and another friend and another friend are now following me on Pinterest. Maybe no one actually cares. Maybe no one actually LOOKS at my blank corkboard made of pixels. But the perfectionist and “joiner” in me causes me to imagine the deep disappointment of my friends when they visit me and find… Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. And zilch.

So for now… with regard to my activity on Pinterest, or lack thereof… I guess I’d just like to say to my fellow friends and Pinsters out there… Let’s just put a pin in it. At least until I actually take the time to figure out how the hell to use it.

So… That Happened

I am fascinated by language. I think it’s a safe bet to say that most writers are. Language is a living, ever changing thing that reflects the constant evolution of our culture. Recently, a new phrase has entered our collective vocabulary with which I have become quite taken. I have heard friends and co-workers use it, made note of it popping up on television as part of a scripted dialogue, read it on Facebook (naturally) and overheard it being used on the street.

I get it. I think it’s funny and at times the perfect thing to say… almost like putting a period at the end of a sentence after something has… well… happened. I am confident that I could use it appropriately in a situation and maybe even garner a few laughs. But, given my affinity for words, I was still curious about its true, intended meaning. Therefore, I consulted with what else but the Urban Dictionary to see if it could shed any more light on this new addition to our current pop-culture vernacular.

The Urban Dictionary defines “Well, That Happened” as: A phrase used when something random and/or inexplicable has occurred. It serves as both an invitation to discuss the recent incident or a way to cut off a possible conversation about the incident.

You witness your naked neighbor being chased by a dog. Suddenly he is hit by a car, leaving him sprawled in the intersection while the dog licks him.

You: “Well that happened.”

Your Friend: “Yup.”

There are also some variations of this form of language that I wish to explore with some examples of my own such as: “This happened”  if you are standing in the immediate presence of something interesting, peculiar or random.

Out of sheer anger and frustration you take a hammer and smash your wireless mouse to bits, scattering shards of grey plastic and particles of circuitry all over the crime scene. See Of Mice and Hammers for more details on this specific example.

You: “So… This happened.”

Your Friend: “Yup.”

Or… “There’s this” as a way of showing someone something that you find cannot be explained any other way or you just don’t feel like saying any more about it.

Your friend discovers a photo taken of you during middle school and posts it on Facebook for the world to see. You’re standing with about 3 other friends sporting giant 90’s hair, oversized bomber (or denim) jackets worn atop horrid cable-knit sweaters, turtlenecks and acid-washed-mom-jeans… New Kids On The Block concert tickets in hand.

Photo caption: “And… There’s this.”

All Your Facebook Friends: “Uproarious laughter and comments galore”

There's This.