I used to get goose pimples, but now it seems I have to get goose bumps, which don’t sound half – or even one sixty-fourth – as exciting.
Goose bumps, like zits, spread like a rash across the Atlantic in the mid-1980s, infecting Blue Peter presenters as they transformed from loveable, quirky characters into fashion-following, second-class celebrities.
Does it matter? Not from the point of view that language changes continually by dropping established words for new ones, but to me a pimple suggests so much more life than a bump.
A bump is what happens when one car hits another, when a knock on the arm swells into a bruise or when you back into a piece of furniture if you’re trying to carry too much.
A pimple sounds more playful. I want to hear the BBC’s Robert Peston project pimples of economic recovery, as only he could, and marvel at Curiosity’s discovery of cosmic pimples on the surface of the red planet. Can we calculate how many goose pimples the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics are causing? Will we feel musical pimples at the Last Night of the Proms?
It’s enough to give me goose pimples.