Several years ago, Chris, our soon to be in son-in-law (at that time), was quietly amused by many of the things that he witnessed in our home. A prime source for his merriment was our flexible usage of the word “box.” In our vernacular, box can be virtually any device that is electronic in nature:
- The answering machine was the box.
- The garage door opener was the box.
- The VCR was the box.
- The DVD player was the box.
- The DVR (digital video recorder) was the box.
- Each of our 5 remotes was the box. (We needed all 5, because the universal remote was actually only semi-universal.)
I want to give full and deserving credit to my wife for initiating and propagating this simple, yet curious naming custom. Yet, to be sure, I had easily and unknowingly adopted her minimalist identification convention. Strangely, there was seldom any confusion as to which particular box is being referenced at a given time or situation.
Sometimes, my bride was able to skillfully use “the box” twice in the same sentence, but referencing two different entities, as in:
“I need the box (universal remote) if I am to turn on the box (DVR).”
Yet with all of our boxes, we seem to get along just fine—and give Chris a reason to smile.
Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Visit peterdehaan.com to receive his newsletter, read his blog, or connect on social media.