Twilight

Several years ago, the Madonna Drive signs in my neighborhood were stolen. Now that the city has finally replaced them, three Twilight Drive signs are missing. Please return them, rabid fans.

The word twilight used to be lovely, but now it represents vampires and teen romance (or teen angst—the two are sadly inseparable). So when I tell people to “turn right at twilight,” they either laugh sardonically or giggle. I wish they would remember what the word means instead of immediately relating it to pop culture.

It is interesting how language shifts over time—new connotations weigh on a word till the original meaning is obscured, and eventually forgotten. It becomes a new word altogether. Often the stickiest connotations are negative ones. I remember C.S. Lewis discussed this in an essay called the “Death of Words.” I read it too long ago to recall his argument clearly, so I should probably go reread it—but first I need to go retrieve my copy of On Stories. 

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