Archived Story

Write Again … Please, no “up for grabs”

Published 4:18pm Monday, October 7, 2013

This, reader friends, is not going to be the stuff of Pulitzer prizes.

Hardly. Besides, I don’t think they award Pulitzers to column writers, anyway. Truth to tell, this week’s endeavor isn’t going to garner any awards. Even if it was submitted to a press association. And that’s OK. (I’ll have to wait and see if my “okay” is changed to “OK.”)

Which, sort of, brings me to the reason for, or theme of, today’s “Write Again.”

It’s about language usage. You know, the sort of topic that is probably guaranteed to engender “reader dropout.”

Or as when once before I wrote a column about the way some use the communication currency of words, and my friend Robert said, “There wasn’t much to that one.”

Heck. Why don’t you tell me what you really think, Robert?

Enough preamble. A tree shouldn’t have to die to accommodate such linguistic rambling.

So, here goes.

Tasked.  That’s right, “tasked.” As in “the committee was tasked with …” Once a noun, now a verb. Shoot. They could have been “… ‘jobbed’ with …” And “snuck.” It’s “sneaked.”

Then there’s the old standby, mostly used in things political. “Up for grabs.” Mercy. This phrase is surely in the upper echelon of trite expressions. Please. Bury this one, newspaper writer persons.

“Early on.” On what? Why not just “early” or “earlier?”

“Back to back.” As a metaphor, this is backward. If it must be used, then let it be “front to back.” On second thought, just don’t use it. “Consecutive” works just fine, thank you.

There are two that I’ve mentioned before in the column that “there wasn’t much to that one.” They are “you guys” and “no problem.” Enough said about those two ubiquitous utterances. Deliver us from such as these. Please.

One of the more recent words — which so many media folks have appropriated — is “impact.” Nothing much is “affected” anymore. No, sir.  It’s “impacted.” As in a tooth? Bowels? (I’m sorry.)

And so on. I’m sure you can also come up with a few. Ours is a fluid language, as they say.

The mother lode of clichés and trite-isms can be found in sportspeak.

Space doesn’t allow the listing of such from that world.  Stuff like “on the day.”

Enough. I’m sure Robert left me many paragraphs ago. He wasn’t the only one, I suspect.

I’ll try to do better next week.

Until then.

That is, going forward; at the end of the day.

You guys.

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