Know Your English | Don’t be such a doomscroller!

“I read somewhere that today’s men are more likely to be pecked than…”

“Pecked chicken? I have never heard this expression before. What does it mean?”

“Do you know what henpecked means?”

“Yes, I know what that means. It refers to a man who is dominated by his wife. Someone who is under the control of his partner.

“It’s true! He is someone who is controlled by his wife. Very few men admit that they are henpected.

“Why should they? And why are you talking about henpected husbands, anyway? I want to know the meaning of chicken spike.

“Well, if henpecked means a husband being bullied by his wife, then chicken pecked should mean, a….”

“I think I know. Chicken pecked means a wife who is dominated by her husband! Right?”

“Wrong! The phrase is used to refer to parents who are dominated by their children.

“In other words, parents who have no control over their children. Parents who do what their children tell them.

“I guess you could say that! But it doesn’t have to be both parents. The kids could overpower just one.

“I see. So, is it acceptable to say that the pecking father went to consult?”

“It definitely is. Sujatha tells me yesterday’s match was quite interesting.

“I wouldn’t say that! The bowlers had fun, but the batsmen did not. The pitch, if you can call it that, was terrible. I went out to a ball that didn’t go up at all. He just rolled on the ground.

“Yeah, I heard you went to a grubber.”

“A what?”

“Grubber! The first syllable rhymes with ‘shrub’ and ‘scrub’. The word ‘grubber’ is a term, sometimes used in cricket, for a ball that does not rise at all. For example, Joe Root came out with a grubber on the fifth test.

“It’s a ball most batsmen dread getting – the grubber.”

“It’s a bowler’s dream ball, I guess. Your uncle passed on something new about…”

“I never read any of my uncle’s forwards. They always talk about something depressing.

“It’s true! Your uncle is a bit of a doomscroller. It’s either covid or…”

“What did you say? Doomscroller? What does that mean?”

“A doomscroller is someone who spends a lot of time online searching…”

News about the apocalypse! In other words, how the world is going to end! Am I right?”

“It doesn’t have to be about how the world is going to end. It could be anything sad. He frequently revisits the sad news to see if there are any updates.

“In other words, an apocalyptic scroller is someone who spends a lot of time reading generally depressing information.”

” There is not just that ! He is someone who obsessively searches for such news. This tendency to search for such information is called “doomscrolling” or doomsurfing. For example, my friend spends a few hours a day doomscrolling.

“I think the pandemic has reduced a lot of us to doomscrollers.”

“It’s a good example. Doomsurfing was one of the things many of us did at the start of the pandemic.

“Well, let’s just hope some of us don’t go back to it.”

” Do not rush. Do not worry. You are only here for a short visit. So don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.

Walter Hagen

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