Wednesday, January 25, 2006

If you want to blame someone for this post, please feel free to blame George Carlin. Not only is he the greatest living comedian he is also one of the most astute observers of the English language. It rubbed off on me and I too tend to notice things about our precious language that really get me all worked up. So I shall now submit to you, gentle reader, my list of words and phrases that really need to be eliminated.

“Winning the hearts and minds of…” Good Lord how I hate this phrase. First of it’s just a way making the very simple and straightforward word convince into a long frilly phrase. There’s no need for it. If you want to convince someone then just use the word convince. There’s no need to win their hearts and minds people. I really think if you change someone’s mind you’ve really put in a full day’s work. Plus saying you’re trying win someone’s heart just gives the impression you want to go on a date with them. Convince is a perfectly good word. Feel free to use it.

Any use of the word pimp as an adjective should be stopped immediately. You’ve heard it. A cool car is pimped out. A cool looking outfit is pimpin’. It’s sick. Pimps are vile, disgusting bottom feeders. Please let’s not glorify them. By allowing this word into the vocabulary as a positive adjective we lose all sense of how vile the crime pimps commit really is.

Please stop comparing every instance of repression to the Nazi’s or Slavery. Just because there is an attempt to hold you back or do something that maybe restricts your freedom it does not compare to what the Nazi’s did or what happened to the slaves in the South before the United States outlawed slavery. If you make this comparison you’re just showing how little you really understand about history. Please don’t. Are you listening Hillary?

The phrase “sexual predator” needs to be eliminated. I don’t mean to defend real sex criminals but this phrase tells you nothing. A sexual predator sounds like a guy with a hairy chest and too much jewelry who hits on every woman in a bar. We should use words that describe the offense these people have committed. If they are child molesters or pedophiles or rapists please label them as such. While I’m on this topic please stop misusing pedophile. A pedophile is someone with an attraction to prepubescent children not teenagers. Just because some cute twenty-something teacher had sex with a teenage boy does not make her a pedophile. It just makes her dumb. It also makes for more mindless gossip that gets disguised as news, but I digress.

Please stop using so much hyperbole. Everything is so extreme in our culture that nothing really means a lot anymore. Not every bad thing that happens is tragic. Nor is every good thing that happens amazing. Please relax and get a sense of reality. This also extends to people who only ever have super days. You know whom I’m talking about. Everything is always great or super. Stop your lying. I’d pay to have someone tell their day was moderately nifty or somewhat swell.

Please use the word irony correctly. Irony refers to opposite not coincidence. If twin sisters marry another set of twins, that’s coincidence not irony. If twin sisters marry a set of twins that turn to be just one guy who wanted to marry them both. That’s a really entertaining episode of Jerry Springer’s show not irony. If twin sisters marry a set of twins to get away from their alcoholic abusive father and both of the men they marry turn out to be abusive alcoholics, that’s irony.

As always kids remember to watch your language and good luck, Mr. Gorsky.


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