Conjugation

Ghost Train was about to get a 4th season since as usual, the day before I go on holiday to Italy, the tube is on strike. 1h30 to go to work rather than 45 minutes… I tell you, it makes you really eager to go on holiday…

Anyway, let’s talk about something more positive then… Holiday! Yeah! (can’t stop saying it really). Nowadays it is actually quite pleasant to be able to check out on Google where you are going to go and check places before booking. With the latest version of GoogleMap, you can even work out how safe is the street where you’ll be staying in Tokyo - with as many details as would provide the FBI itself. Particularly nice when you have nothing to do at work…  And it is not without a certain sort of fear that I have just realised what an important era we are experiencing now - seing such tools developing, and how much of a dinosaure I  will sound to my children (if I ever have any) when they will realise the word “Broadband” did not exist when I was born…

When I think again to the holiday I spent as a child - stuck between my two sisters in my parents’ car, with the dog drooling in our necks, the cat getting sick, my teddy bear and no other tool to find the right direction than the sun, the hand-written itinerary elaborated by my father and the roadmap held by my Mum - arguable co-pilote who got the job in spite of her unability to remember where she parked the car when going shopping. Without being nostalgic, the family D.’s holiday were pretty Rock n’roll (even after Dad decided we would not listen to David Bowie’s tape a 30th time). I have to admit, I remain admirative of my parents’ bravery and their taste for adventure.

Since back in the days, there was no way to “Google” anything so we were going to our destination without really knowing anything about it - apart from the bad-quality picture seen on the brochure the cousins of the neighbours (who have been 6 years ago) had lent us 4 months before. That’s probably why we spent quite often memorable holidays - and not because the sun was shining or because we met cool people… That was rather the opposite… The worst holidays we ever spent are most of the time the funniest ones and the ones we talk about the most…

Anyway, to get back to this beautiful new verb (not so new actually) “To google” (when will we have “to goolemap”?), it indeed offers us the opportunity to express how much of a control-freak we are… Trying to anticipate, check, plan everything we can. Even the time off when we should basically forget the existence of a watch… All these tools are indeed designed to help us to make the “dream holiday” come true (apart from the unexpected wasp sting’s allergy while climbing the Etna ;).

But as any new word, I cannot help wondering about how long it will last and if it will be just a trendy-term that will disappear in a blink of an eye. In any case, the other day I actually heard it used with the past tense and realised that apparently it has been decided (God knows by who) that it would be a regular verb : I googled, you have googled, he/she/it has been googled, etc. So the next generations won’t have to add this to the never-ending list of irregular verbs they have to learn by heart because of a traumatising English teacher. Thank you Google.

” To be on holiday is having nothing to do, and have the all day to do it. ” - Robert Orben