Friday, September 08, 2006

We're in the van

It's a bit of an old fashioned expression, "in the van". I think "van" is short for "vanguard", so it's saying someone or something is at the forefront, at the cutting edge, a leader, setting the pace. A book I am reading, written in 1984, says that the evolution of the human brain is speeding up rapidly and that "computers are in the van".

I don't know about you but this makes me think of a spotty IT operative who has been given the job of picking up the old busted laptops and pulling out all the useable bits. Far from its intended meaning.

And - wake up word buffs, there's more. I did notice in Wiktionary that "vanguard" came into English from French, where it had been hanging around for a while as a contraction of "avant garde".

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