LC Van Savage
Words, Glorious Words…
There are so many changes in our aging world and for someone like me, so firmly stuck in time about 50 years back, it presents a myriad of problems. No, I promise I won’t list them all here because I hate the sound of ZZZZZZs, either mine or anyone else’s.
First of all, I’m saddened by the theft of all the good words of vituperation. Time was, when if I got angry I could shoot out a few choice mots to express my emotions and I’d feel lots better. But no, those strong, once forbidden words are used so casually today that to utter them in expression of raw or happy or angry emotion is now just an exercise in soft, flabby meaninglessness. They are all used up and when hurled furiously by me at another human, they flop to the ground like useless, leaking water balloons. What a shame. A waste! You just can’t curse at a person any longer. How I yearn for the good old days when if you cussed someone out, they got genuinely outraged. Now they just sigh or snicker, or worse, they don’t even notice.
And speaking of the diminishment of great words, do you realize if you ever get to the Grand Canyon you are now deprived of a way to describe it? Yes. Because there’s really only one word that’s genuinely perfect to describe that magnificent hole in the earth but it’s no longer available to us. “Awesome.” Yep. Now lost in the mists of overuse. Today everything is “awesome” from nail polish colors to soft ice cream, to Solitaire, to weird Australian animals. How wasteful. Now when we stand on the edge of the magnificent, historic, breath taking Grand Canyon we can’t really properly describe it because “awesome” has been hijacked from our lexicon. That amazing place, adjective-embezzled. Oops, sorry. Can’t say that. “Amazing” too has been pinched from our vocabulary list. Now everybody and everything, if even vaguely OK, is “amazing.”
There are a few phrases and words I’d love to never hear again and I’ll bet the rent you’d be willing to also let fly away forever. For example, how many “y’knows” can one human being possibly load into a simple paragraph? Too many, and most of them are uttered by people of the jock persuasion. I am painfully bored by most sports but I do have fun counting the “y’knows” those sweating “heroes” can fit into a one minute interview. It’s gotta be some kind of a gift because while I don’t know who holds the world’s record, they are all in very strong competition and they sure do say it a lot. One has to be sharp though—it’s become such a staple in usage one doesn’t even hear those speedy “y’knows” anymore.
And I would not care either if “basically” vanished. Where and why did that get birthed into the language? Does every sentence have to begin with that word? Basically, I think not. Do you basically agree?
And while I’m in complaining mode there are a few people I’d love to never have to hear, see or read about ever again. The Kardashians for starters. Who are they anyway? What have they actually done, I mean apart from calling more attention to themselves than Marie Antoinette did back in her day? And Donald Trump? OK, he’s political and I’ll never win this one but enough with that hair debating, and his overwhelming, overpowering and ceaseless exhibition of inflated ego.
And could we possibly stop with the Star Wars hype? Yes, it’s a great flick and the imagination of those creators is just awesome, ooops, but please, stop.
vAnd I’m begging you here, all of you, and in particular you young people --- is there any way I can implore you to please please stop using the word “like” all the time? I always bet my grandchildren they can’t go an hour without saying “like.” I always win. Oh, and the use of “goes,” when “said” is the appropriate verb. So annoying. So wrong.
So without all of the above in our lives, what have we left? Are we to be eventually speechless?
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