Keep an Eye on the Toast - all about Context



Toasting and speechmaking, in one form or another, are a part of most cultures. Being able to join in toasts is a useful social, and therefore business, skill. Recently, however, "toast" (with bread in mind) has come to mean something rather negative - "after these results, the company was toast". You sometimes also see "toasted" meaning the same thing, so context is all-important.

Another strange example of a 180 degree change in meaning is "oversight". The traditional meaning suggests a failure to notice something - e.g."an oversight in calculations". Nowadays it seems to mean the supervision of something or someone, clearly the exact opposite. We have no examples of "oversight during oversight" but they must be out there somewhere. Again, look out for context.








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