Thursday, July 19, 2007

Double Whammy

For a couple of days, I and my former boss, had a nice little thread going about the phrase "double whammy." I saw the phrase in their website, and I thought two of the four pillars came crashing down the steps of the main building. (You can't really blame me. It's not only some run-of-the-mill double whammy, it's a "historical double whammy.") Apparently, no such disaster occured. My boss, who actually agreed with me, later on asked some people to make the necessary changes, only to be informed that neither of them has the authority to make the correction, that is oh-so-begging to be made.

As if that's not bad enough, what makes it worse, is that you are practically telling anybody with an IP address, that either there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth because of some horrible, unspeakable catastrophe, or you don't know squat about idioms.

Double whammy means "a double blow or setback." A whammy was originally "an evil influence or hex," and double whammy emerged not long afterwards. Wiktionary refers to the word whammy as "a serious or devastating setback" or "an evil spell; a curse or hex." It is never used in a positive context, and using it to highlight one of the better achievements of your institution in recent years, is like spending the rest of your life on a Caribbean island, sipping piƱa coladas and strawberry daiquiris with a hot, supermodel girlfriend, and calling it a curse. It doesn't make sense.

If my memory serves me right, this is not the first time they used the phrase. They used it before in the same context, thereby producing the same confusing and wrong result. Now, to me, that is what you call a double whammy.

1 comment:

~C4Chaos said...

what the heck happened to just using the phrase "two birds with one stone?"