#995: Terminology

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.

45 comments

  1. “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.”

    Ol’ Mike “Gen X” Ladano shunning the youth of today! You don’t want to be hip like Harrison?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not even sure if I use the word “dropped”. I think I go with the phrasing “released in XXXX” most of the time I refer to the release date of an album. But I mainly stick with years, I don’t particularly go into the minutiae of the day an album was released. I can’t even remember the days most albums were released. Even Rise I’m not even 100% sure of. I know it was June but it could have been the 3rd or the 20th or the 23rd.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. GET OFF MY LAWN!

      No there are certain words I will not use in their new modern context. “Dropped”, “Woke”, “Stan”… I’m not going to pretend to be 27 years old.

      Like

        1. Waiting for you to refer to an album as “lit” in your next positive review. If someone questions your score jusr say, “That’s how we do.”

          Liked by 1 person

        2. This lit album is also dope. I was today years old when I learned all the haters are salty. That shit just hits different.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Today years old pisses me off. I wanna punch any brat who says it. Also saying “facts” when you agrew with someone, or “bet” to indicate plans are still on.

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Basic=bland, mainstream person. Based=someone who ignores mainstream talking points and says what many think but are too afraid to say. Enlightened.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think I have used happy birthday for that, but I don’t see a problem with it. I have used “dropped” before. If I’m bringing up a lot of different albums at one time I start mixing up terminology so I’m not saying the same like like “released” over and over again, so “dropped” works its way in.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. An album is born. A band spends months in the studio writing and creating it. Then it gestates while it is being mixed and mastered then it is birthed on vinyl, cd or whatever and out comes a final product. This can take 3 months or even 9 months to a couple years. So, not sure I see a reason why you can’t say Happy Birthday. It works the same way as birth.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I care about English. I care a lot. However, I also think it is a constantly evolving language, for better or for worse, and have no issue whatsoever with wishing albums a ‘Happy birthday’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. People who toss around semantics bore the hell out of me. If you want to call an album’s release date a birthday, go right ahead. Same with not using dropped, it makes no difference to this loyal reader.

    Liked by 1 person

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