I was reminded of my recent post when I watched Thursday night’s The Big Bang Theory. It was the episode where they try to recreate a high-school prom — at their originals of which, all of them but Penny had bad experiences, of course.
Sheldon refers to the possibility of him being “elected Prom King,” and goes on to say that he’ll point out that kings aren’t elected.
He’s smart, but not that smart. Prom Kings and Queens, by definition, are elected, and in that context, that’s what the words mean.1
And words mean what we make them mean, and meanings change all the time.
People often say that parliamentary elections “shouldn’t become a popularity contest.” But that, of course, is exactly what prom ones are. ↩