Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Futile Quests, But I Won't Give Up

As a writer and an avid reader, I appreciate the nuances of our English language and its many variations.  The Irish use expressions that Brits generally do not and vice versa.  And I have long been engaged in the losing cause of trying to straighten out mis-uses of the English language in America.

Some of you may remember my indignation (diatribe) at the absurd phrase used by married couples:  "We're pregnant."  Better get on the phone to Ripley's Believe It Or Not - you could make a buck for the baby's college education.

This morning I got irritated all over again when a friend used the so-called polite phrase for death which seems to be "passed."  I wanted to know what he passed?  The gravy dish?  The speed limit?  His bank balance? "" Grow up! I wanted to yell.  "Man up!  We're all gonna die!  It's okay to say that someone died!"  Don't give me this polite "just sparing the feelings stuff" (and "stuff" was substituted for a less than polite word.)

Despite my rage and despair, I was not deranged enough to forget my old friend Google.  To my astonishment there is a site called   askmen.com   that addresses the top 10 over--used words. 

These are some that the site cited:

Love/Hate  At one time these words expressed very strong emotions indeed.  Not today.  In fact "haters" (a derivative) is frequently used in comments to political columns.  If one dares to write in disagreement, Bang!  You're a hater!

"Awesome" usually followed by "dude" - so '80s.

"Gay" used to mean "joyous" as in "Oh, we had such a gay time - the band didn't quit playing until 2 a.m.!"  Today it refers to a homosexual male.  It has now devolved down  to what a gay friend said as he watched two other men jogging down a sidewalk - "That's so gay" and couldn't explain what he meant. 

Aside from "passed" for "died" I also abhor "share."  As in "I wanted to share this with you - blah, blah, blah."  No, idiot, you wanted to tell me something.  Now if you were talking money or a nice dessert - then you'd be talking "share" and I'd be a helluva lot more interested!

No comments: