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.