When your work is tied to creating with language, the general wisdom is that your grasp of it gets better with age. Decades of reading, expanding vocabulary, and deciphering nuances and styles lend one a certain level of conﬁdence in recognising error. Which is why when a millennial colleague wrote that a personality was ready to “spill the tea” on a situation, I brandished the proverbial red pen. “Don’t you mean, ‘Spill the beans’?” I pointed out. She thought it a common enough expression. That was the day the table was turned on the senior in the pecking order. It was I who was out of touch.
Thanks to Google, I discovered that “spilling the tea” does not mean “dropping the liquid”, as I and everyone over the age of 25 have assumed. Oh no. It means, “revealing something salacious”, “sharing the gossip”. So, when the “tea” is hot, it’s “very fresh news”. The expression could have originated from Southern tea parties, where gossip is shared, or been derived from T, which stands for Truth in certain circles.
Despite being enlightened, the incident rattled me. Not least because of my certainty of being right, but also that language learning can go the other way, that is – picked up from the young. Who’s to say an expression supposedly derived from an ancient Greek practice of dropping beans in a jar is more legitimate than a Southern bonding ritual? Indeed, much has been made of millennial attitudes but to make an effort to listen is to harness the insights of the next generation. For more on this topic, check out Simon Tay’s interview with The Thought Collective co-founder Kuik Shiao-Yin (p. 30).
This issue marks the ﬁrst time we are publishing a double cover. Flip to the back of the book to begin your exploration of this year’s most newsworthy watches and industry developments. Happy browsing.
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