Write Again … Mostly minor musings

Published 4:42 pm Monday, September 5, 2016

ERSATZ — If you are one who tries to be careful about your diet, you may wish to read on the labels exactly what goes into those “imitation” whipped creams. You know, Cool Whip, Dream Whip and the like.

ALL ALIKE — It seems that just about all the ladies you see reporting the news on TV share one commonality: blond hair. The trend is pandemic. It’s great for hair color sales.

NO WAY — Driverless cars? Now, there’s an innovation I can do without. Although, they may be safer than some actual drivers are.

TRADITION — The practice of now referring to the WHS Pam Pack athletic teams as the “Pack” or “Lady Pack” is diminishing the historical importance of a unique — the only one of its kind in the country — name. There is only one “Pam Pack.” Add in the gray to the uniforms, and you have an example of tradition-be-damned. A shame.

REDUNDANT — Funeral service. Funeral means a service for the dead. It — “funeral” — should stand alone.

NO IT’S NOT — Most refer to a lectern or speaker’s stand as a “podium.” Not so. Check the etymology of “podium.”

SAD — In little more than a month or so, four members of my WHS Class of ’57 received their final promotions. That now makes 42 out of 111. I am reminded of that which Thomas More said in playwright Robert Bolt’s wonderful “A Man for All Seasons”: “Death comes for us all. At our birth, even at our birth, death does but stand aside a little, and muses to itself whether that day or the next it will draw nigh. It is the law of nature, and the will of God.”

HOUSE CALLS — Those well-intentioned folks who go house to house seeking to share their religious beliefs — to “enlighten” the benighted — are a real challenge to those of us for whom being inhospitable goes against our natural tendencies.

TRENDSPEAK — Perhaps only logophiles, such as I, pay much attention to the way some, especially those in the media, and in the public eye, latch onto every new word or expression that pops up.

Some of these words stick around, some don’t. “Problematic” seems to have staying power. Why not just say “a problem”? A newer one being used in the political realm is “pivot.” You know, as to change one’s opinion or view. Sort of like “walking it back.” A cliché to define a cliché. And now “a ton of” to denote “ a lot” has gained currency. Let us not forget “at the end of the day.”

Then some words gain what I’ll call “expanded” usage. For example: kickoff. We all know that’s an American football term. However, you’ll notice, especially in newspapers, that “kickoff” is commonly used to denote a beginning in many, many things other than football. As in “the fundraiser kicks off …” and so forth, almost ad infinitum.

The importance of all this is probably not worth the use of the paper needed to print it on. I can do better.

See you next week.