death of language


Small language rant:

"How will this impact our company"? Sorry, that is wrong and doesn't make much sense. There is a tendency to dumb down language as if it is cute to do so. In the process, words or syllables get lopped off. In the example: what happened to the word "affect"? If they want to use "impact" then they need a few more words as in: "what sort of impact will this have on the company".

Next: "invites": "did you send out the invites Skeezik"? The abbreviation works fine if you say it with a southern accent and spit afterwords. "Invitations" just isn't that much of a tongue twister to be abandoned. Gotcher invite to the cross burnin floyd.

The queen mother of current language idiocy is the term "from the get go" (or fum de git go). What pitiful soul came up with that one? Sophisticated businessmen (I know - that's an oxymoron) use it all the time. Again it leads me to think that a bit of tobacco juice may be coming my way when I hear that expression. Ah hell, Billy I node yur wife was yur sister fum de git go. Yee-haw!

There are many, many more. "Have a good one"! said cheerily by just about every check-out person. A good what?? I usually say "Thanks, but I have other plans" and leave them staring blankly into space, the trickle of tobacco juice starting to bubble at the corner of the mouth.

"You know what I'm sayin?" - "I hear you" - "well, if you ask me..." (fuck you, I didn't nor was I even thinking of asking you) - "that's what I always say". The list grows and grows, doesn't it.

Add your favorites and we'll see how they impact this blog. This blog has been a good one from the git go and I invitation you to participate. Know what I'm sayin?


Oh come now my dear friend. Would you rupture a person's testicles for the slightest indulgence in clich´┐Ż, set phrases, and figures of speech? Is your informal everyday conversation utterly devoid of these crutches? Is your every metaphor completely original? Does nothing pass through thy lips but the most heavenly of pearls?

I know it's tempting for us members of the privileged intellectual/professional classes to feel superior to the less educated, less prosperous rabble. But it's a temptation we should try to resist because /at the end of the day|bottom line is|in the final analysis/, you ain't no better than that lowly checkout person.

btw, what's so bad about "have a good one?" I rather like the ambiguity. A good.... hit off the crack pipe? Screaming orgasm? Evening at home watching Wheel of Fortune? Looting spree? Prayer breakfast with the President? Take your pick.

Awesome, dude. I, like, totally love this line of thinking. Does everyone, like, think "in a line"? What is that, like, all about? "At the end of the day" has got to be my personal overused fave. Lots of "impactful" things happen in the middle of the day and at the beginning of the day. What's so special about the end of the day? And what's a "fave" anyway? It's not that hard to say favorite, is it? You know?

Leanbean et al, you might enjoy a book called "Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care" by John H. McWhorter. No I haven't read it but you can't beat the subtitle.

You might also like "The Way We Talk Now" by Geoffrey Nunberg. No I haven't read that one either. I ain't no scholar, you know, my professorial nom de plume notwithstanding.

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This page contains a single entry by published on January 29, 2004 8:36 PM.

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