Saturday, October 13, 2018

It Glistens, Glitters and Shines

What is shiny? This is a word that was first recorded in 1580 - 90 -  a smooth surface reflecting light, typically because very clean or polished.  I wonder how many shiny things an ordinary person saw in a day in 1580 - even those who lived in the Royal Palace?

this topic came about as Gerry's car was perfectly polished this past week and became exceedingly shiny. Doesn't the star on the front gleam 'shiny'?

This word has taken on sizeable proportions in our current usage - movies, music, video games, software development frameworks, Pokemon, and all manner of things.  Fro example, one headline is "How to build R Shiny apps that update themselves".

In the wiktionary definition, there is a slang usage of the word that points to its current usage.  It is a contraction of a disparaging term "Shiny arses",  originating during World War Two to describe a desks worker.

We might look to Shakespeare as giving us this insight into things that are 'shiny'.  

“All that glisters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life has sold
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold
Had you been as wise as bold,
Your in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been in'scroll'd
Fare you well: your suit is cold.' Cold, indeed, and labour lost: Then, farewell, heat and welcome, frost!”
― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Shakespeare's words have been referenced over time.  All that shines is not gold - has become a well-known phrase.  So we come to how shiny is used today.  It seems similar to Shakespeare - though hundreds of years have passed.

"A company shouldn't get addicted to being shiny, because shiny doesn't last. Jeff Bzos

"I think that wealthy white people would like to have a country that resembles the Fifties, when all the minorities were tucked away in ghettos and paid in very low wages but on the surface it was very bright and shiny and free and the rest of the world would look on it longingly. Alice Walker

"I'm not a particularly shiny, happy person. I'm fairly cynical, and that's what draws me to comedy. Elizabeth Banks

"Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night? Jack Kerouac

These come from

So we look at Gerry' shiny car - while that beautiful shine won't last, it's been captured forever.

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