Fox News posts this AP story on the addition of the word "meh" to the Collins English Dictionary (Harper/Collins);
The origins of "meh" are murky, but the term grew in popularity after being used in a 2001 episode of "The Simpsons" in which Homer suggests a day trip to his children Bart and Lisa.
"They both just reply 'meh' and keep watching TV," said Cormac McKeown, head of content at Collins Dictionaries.
The dictionary defines "meh" as an expression of indifference or boredom, or an adjective meaning mediocre or boring...
The dictionary's compilers said the word originated in North America, spread through the Internet and was now entering British spoken English.
It seems fitting that 21st century America should be the origin of a new term expressing boredom or indifference. Europeans may also find it appropriately monosyllabic. Americans must be chronically - maybe pathologically - bored to actually sit still for "reality" television. We're so indifferent in politics that a majority of us voted just for fill-in-the-blank "change" (Obama to America: "Don't you want to know where I stand on policy?" ... America: "Meh. Surprise us." ... Obama: "Okay.").
I personally prefer "Feh.", which expresses boredom with a dash of contempt.
I was driving with my son this weekend and the subject of boredom came up somehow, probably related to the fact that he's a teenager. This was between our bits of conversation, his I-pod and texting on his phone. My teenaged daughter also frequently suffers from boredom. The teenaged brain, with all the surging energies of youth, apparently has a low resistance to boredom. Their immune system must be especially susceptible to it. Perhaps the scientists can develop some kind of shot - like an innoculation? I was often bored at that age, too.
I'm not now. I don't remember the last time I was bored. I have the opposite problem... too many things competing for my attention at one time. It's the old Attention Deficit thing manifesting in some interesting ways as I plunge headlong into middle age. As I said to a friend on a recent canoe trip, I have more that I want to do right now than I could accomplish in ten lifetimes. That makes me impatient with bored people. I hold to Chesterton's axiom;
is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing
that can exist is an uninterested person.
One of the surest innoculations against boredom, I think, is learning to read books. Not just learning to read, but getting in the habit of buying books and picking them up and reading them all the way through, and thinking about them... then picking up another.
A robust faith in the providence of God, an awareness of his hand in nature and in life, though, is even better. God is a great storyteller, also fond of surprises, and even jokes. Practical jokes, sometimes.