Yikes. What have I done?
In a comment to my post on Mommy Boats, Edward from EVK4 Bloglet said that he hoped that the phrase Mommy Boats would get into the everyday lexicon as it should shame a few dads and coaches from driving Mommy Boats. While agreeing with his sentiment I laughed at the idea that it would catch on.
Then today on M Squared in a post entitled Little League Sailing, the author writes: "When kids race solo ... they're sometimes followed around the course... by a parent. Such support boats are often referred to as Mommy Boats." My emphasis.
Often? What's going on here? I don't remember hearing the phrase "Mommy Boats" before I invented it in a burst of sarcastic indignation a few days ago. Can it be that it has been used before? Let's see what Google can find.
Hmmm only a handful of hits for the exact phrase.
One is for the use of the phrase, "Look Mommy, boats!" Not at all the same thing.
One is for a forum where someone asked the question, "Where do boats come from?" and got the answer, "Mommy boats get together with Daddy boats, then baby boats come out." Ha ha.
Pursuing that theme further, one is for a site that if I linked to it or just repeated some of the words on it, my coveted PG rating would be downgraded immediately. I don't even want to know exactly what Mommy and a boat were doing to each other in this context.
One is the original post on Proper Course.
One is the M Squared post linking to Proper Course that says the phrase is "often" used.
And all the others seem to be sailing news sites, or social bookmarking sites, or blog scrapers, that link to or copied the material from Proper Course. So if a phrase falls in the forest and Google's not around to hear it, does it make a sound?
Where was I? Where am I? Oh yes.
So is this is how new language usage starts? Someone uses a phrase. A dozen people repeat it. Someone assumes that the phrase is in current usage. Somehow the myth that it's in common use gets on to the web. And the rest is history.
What have I done? Someone please tell me it ain't so.