For someone who is interested in learning where words come from, and the drift of language in general, I have a pretty low tolerance for new slang and new usage. Unfair of me, I know. I think what bothers me is both the way it spreads through the media, and also the celebration of certain cultures implicit in the spread. All of a sudden everyone is using the same little catch phrase. "Hunkered down" was the phrase I heard flying from one media spokesperson's lips to another's in the middle of the first Gulf War. There were probably a hundred ways to describe the situation of the Iraqi opposition in the desert then, but hunkered down was the way it was described by everyone. "Referenced" is a way people never used to refer to, well, referring to something, but now you hear it every day. I actually don't know exactly what people mean by the word, but I'm pretty sure it just means, "I looked that up." But a little fancier looking up than used to happen.
Lately, I seem to hear "drilled down" a lot. As in Hilary Clinton "really drilled down into such detail", or "Susan Rice should have drilled down" into the details of Benghazi. I suppose it struck me that what sounds like such a masculine, tough guy phrase was used of these two women. I also find it somewhat ironic that there is such a resonance of the Republican battle cry, "Drill, baby, drill!" in the verb.
I was surprised to find that the current usage has more to do with information technology worship than oil drilling. Our more general use of the term 'drill down' comes from IT lingo meaning to mouse click down through several levels of folders to a specific file or bit of data you're looking for. As the Urban Dictionary amusingly tells us,
The term is often used during instruction by hip sounding computer techs and quasi- computer instructors at computer program workshops. The term is especially popular amongst university types.
I was happy to find that there is a more geeky use of "drill down" from the same source--band geeky, that is.
I was in band in high school, so this is more my type of crew. Although I have to admit that it was about all I could do to play an instrument and march at the same time.