Show Biz Lingo 101By Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Have you noticed? Show biz folks speak differently from you and me! Their vocabulary may be more or less the same as ours, but the meanings they attribute to certain words are quite different—far-out, even!
Take “thank you”—we use the appreciative expression all the time, but when stars and starlets do, it acquires a “special” sheen, gloss or “gross”—as the case may be:
Instead of just “thank you,” they fervently intone, “thank you so much,” as if a spare, lean “thank you” wouldn’t sound sincerely grateful.
In fact, some stars find even “thank you so much” lacking in throbbing fervor, so they step it up another level and passionately exclaim, “Thank you so, so much!”
—Still think you can improve on that? Why not “thank you so, so, mega, super-duper much!” —Uh, on second thought, please desist. There are (or should be) limits!
Another uniquely showbiz way of putting things is the word “single.” In ordinary circles, the word means “not married.” In show biz lingo, it means “no special someone at the moment,” or “unattached.”
How did the word acquire that “special” meaning on the local entertainment scene? Must be because stellar relationships are so continually in a state of such romantic or erotic flux that “not married” seems to be a terribly imprecise or impermanent way of describing celebrities’ romantic status at precisely this point in time!
Why, some stars have 10 very public loves—and breakups—in only three or four years—so, their romantic history would be terribly difficult to break down, or summarize!
Let’s see: A was married to B, but their union was annulled after two kids, then he dated C, D and E, before he shacked up with F, had a fling and love child with G, had one-night stands with H, I, J, K, L, M, N—not to forget H’s mother—got engaged to O, broke up with her and had simultaneous affairs with P, Q and R, had another love child with his director, S, and is currently hotly involved with all of the members of a female basketball team of starlets—which takes us all the way to Z, because a guy as sexually active as this hung-over hunk needs his sleep (Zzzzzz!).
—So, “single” it is, because the word’s new meanings cover a lot of bases!
What about the word “misunderstanding?” Its logical meaning is “a conflict in perception.” In show biz, it could mean anything from “disagreement,” “personal feud,” “career conflicts,” “backbiting,” “backstabbing”—etc.!
In most instances, in fact, there’s no misunderstanding at all, since all the parties involved know exactly what’s going on. So, why do they fudge and hedge and hide behind the hypocritical word, “misunderstanding?”
Because when the conflict gets too sticky, dangerous or legally incriminating, everyone can pretend that they were just clueless and dumb instead of vicious, and extricate themselves from the stinky cesspool they’re wallowing in (after getting all the publicity mileage they could squeeze out of it)—free to make an even yuckier mess, the nth time around—!
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