Sunday, March 1, 2015

Remedy that?

In the short conversation preceding this week’s Sunday Puzzle, a contestant confessed to having not seen A Fish Called Wanda. And NPR’s Rachel Martin said, “Remedy that, this weekend.”

I can’t recall ever hearing someone say remedy that. The phrasing seems to have some currency on Twitter; the first results of a Google search for “you should remedy that” are all Twitter-based: “If you’ve never, you should remedy that”; “You should remedy that, the dude was a legend”; “OH MY GOD YOU SHOULD REMEDY THAT IMMEDIATELY.” Searching for you should remedy that in Twitter brings up many, many tweets.

Reader, is remedy that, like, a thing? And did you know about it before reading this post? If not, reading this post has remedied that.

comments: 9

Chris said...

I don't think it's new at all, although it may be hot at the moment.

When her hand lowered, he took it again in his. “I have not had much cause in the past, I admit.” “You should remedy that,” she said quietly. “It only improves your features..."

A Stray Drop of Blood,

Fresca said...

"Remedy that" is so normal to me, I don't even know how else you would phrase the concept. [I grew up in Wisconsin--maybe it's a regionalism? Something from German?]

What would you say instead?

Daughter Number Three said...

It feels familiar to me, as though I have heard/read (and maybe used) it before. Can't give an example, though.

Anonymous said...

I heard and used the expression in the 1970s while working for a major electronics firm. The notion of using a noun as a verb is not particularly new nor unusual. Rather I suspect it's becoming more usual, language being a living, changing creature. As to biz lingo, like other sorts of abbreviations, there seems something behind using shortened expressions, though in this case, "remedy that" elongates "fix that," so perhaps there is a medical image intended, as if to cure what ails. Roger Ailes.

Chris L said...

Neal Stephenson in _The Confusion_: "We will remedy that in a few minutes, but for now you are in Lyon"

James Ellroy in _The Black Dahlia_: "We were shorthanded during the war, and some of the men we hired to remedy that turned out to be rotten apples"

Vincent Van Gogh in a letter to Theo: "I’ve discovered that my appetite has been held in check a bit too long and when I received your money I couldn’t stomach any food. But I shall certainly do my best to remedy that."

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for all the observations, everyone. Remedy that seems to be a bit of language that hasn’t come my way, at least not in conversation.

I asked my students about it yesterday, and several found it immediately recognizable. Others had never heard it before.

Michael Leddy said...

Just a reminder: I’m wondering about remedy that as an imperative or with the auxiliary verb should. That’s what took me by surprise on Sunday.

Fresca said...

I recently came across a hip young blogger who said, "fix that now!" several times, like it was an edgy-chic thing to say, a modern version of "remedy that."

Michael Leddy said...

So I take it you don’t find “fix that now” edgy-chic? It sounds kinda haughty to me. It reminds me of when someone in the supermarket lit into me for buying Creamette pasta. Shame on me.