Dated Language.

I sent a message to a friend who had been of great help to me thanking him. The message read –

“Thank you. You are a Brick.”

For my American friends and younger Indian friends, the Oxford English Dictionary defines Brick as:
“British informal, dated, A generous, helpful, and reliable person.”. I have used this word often in the past without any problem.

Agreed it is dated but, so am I and my friend is of the same vintage too.

What leads me to writing this blog post however, is not to defend my datedness but the response that I got from my friend.

“I can appreciate your thanking me but, why do you also insult me at the same time?”

I was puzzled and rang him up to ask him what the problem was and was told that his message read as “Thank you. You are a prick.”

I explained to him what the message was and pacified him but, went to WhatsApp to check if I had indeed made a typo. I had not and so, I took a screen shot of the message and sent it to my friend.

He on reinvestigation found a one in a million chance of an opaque stain on the screen of his smart phone, exactly at the point where the lower loop of the brick appeared. He just cleaned up the screen and the message was not an insult anymore.

I wonder if I should simply stop using the word again in my communications.

19 thoughts on “Dated Language.”

  1. Let me confirm that YOU too are a brick and hope there won’t be a stain on your screen.

    For reasons not clear to me – call me thick, no, make that sick, one of my computers (new) has taken it upon itself to occasionally correct my spelling. I find this mildly disconcerting as sometimes they correct me wrongly. Who do “they” think they are? Mind readers?


  2. Well, at least you didn’t suggest he was bricking it. Or he was as thick as a brick.

    Beware of stains on your smartphone!

    1. I use it in the latter sense often Nick and that is acceptable here. Not with my friends though but, with younger mentees. I haven’t had any occasion to use it in the former sense ever.

  3. Okay that is funny, and I am glad you cleared it up! I have used that term a lot but never fully knew the meaning – thanks! Koop

      1. OMG. I have no idea – sorry for the worry! For some reason I need to login each time, so I should have heeded the advice of one of your viewers to beware the smartphone! Sweet of you to check-in; πŸ™!

  4. Haven’t heard that word for some time. Seems to have gone the same way as .. “toff” .. “gent” ..”sport” and, of course .. “cad” .. “rotter” and “bounder”.

  5. What are the chances?
    A friend of mine once said I was “subtle as a brick”. She’s probably right but I’ll never forget it

  6. That’s funny but certainly could have put a crimp in your friendship if not clarified. An error like that is something the automatic correction system might make based on some messages I discovered after I sent them so I finally turned it off.

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