RECORD STORE TALES #995: Terminology
All of us music-heads do it: we like to celebrate the anniversaries of our favourite (and occasionally not-so-favourite) albums! But how do you like to say it? That’s up to you. Is there a right and wrong way to do it?
I’ll tell you one thing you’ll never hear me say: “This album dropped on this day…”
I do not use the word “dropped” to refer to an album release. I know that’s what the kids say today. That’s precisely why I won’t say it.
A lot people say “Celebrate the anniversary of this album’s release today…” which is perfectly fine. No issue. Lots of big words that my fat thumbs have trouble typing on my phone though.
So I choose something simple and easy for my fingers to mash out on my phone while I’m eating my Cheerios. I choose to say “Happy birthday to this album!”
I don’t write long album birthday posts. Instead I simply paste the link to my review (when applicable) and post “Happy birthday!” I figure the review has most of the info if anybody cares enough to click it.
Two people have questioned my use of the word “birthday” in this context: rock journalist Mitch Lafon, and one loyal LeBrain Train viewer who you might be able to guess. I get it, I really do. Wishing “happy birthday” to an album? Is an album “born”?
According to Merriam Webster dictionary, the word “birth” can also mean “to give rise to”. Even so, I like to have fun with words and use them in ways not always intended. I’m also not the only person to wish a “happy birthday” to an inanimate object.
Look, it’s real simple. I won’t say “dropped”, and I don’t like the word “anniversary” (or typing it with my thumbs). I’ve chosen “happy birthday” for my album anniversary celebrations, and I think most people understand “Oh, he means it must have been released on this day.” I find a lot of arguments in the music community comes down to what I consider semantics. You’ll see all kinds of debates on what “metal” really is, or what qualifies members of a band as “original”. We care about these things because we’re music fans.
Admittedly, for me to type “Happy birthday!” on social media for an album, instead of a proper sentence about its release, is an act of laziness. But social media itself is an embodiment of laziness so I won’t apologize for that.
How do you post about an album’s anniversary? Are albums “born”? Does anyone actually care about English anymore? Let us know in the comments.