September 7, 2013

Don't say "godspeed"

I'm somewhat horrified when I hear someone say "godspeed", as I did when NASA launched a rocket yesterday.
"Godspeed on your journey to the moon, LADEE," Launch Control said. Flight controllers applauded and exchanged high-fives following the successful launch. "We are headed to the moon!" NASA said in a tweet.
Mind you, godspeed has nothing to do with god. It's a contraction of "good speed" that became common in the old days of merry England.

Still, I don't like it. It may not mean "may god send you on your way quickly" but that's exactly what people think it means. So if you find yourself reaching for this expression -- especially if you're NASA and you're on live TV -- I think you should reach for another term. How about "Happy trails to you"?

"Happy trails to you, on your journey to the moon, LADEE" sounds just fine to me.

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