Write Again … Two-thousand lbs?

Published 6:56 pm Friday, January 24, 2020

Now, what in the world could he be writing about today, that would be about two-thousand pounds?

What, indeed.

Well, I’ll tell you what. It’s about words, phrases — expressions — that catch on, and some seem to feel they just have to use. You know, as some do about each new trend in clothing fashions, or hair styles, etc.

As regards the title of this bit of weekly scribbling, two-thousand pounds is, as you know, a ton. Now that’s heavy.

So, when someone says, or writes about, “a ton of …” whatever, I automatically think what the word “ton” really means. What those who now use the word actually mean is a lot, an abundance, much, a plethora, even a surfeit, of whatever it is they are referring to. Some folks just like to use the latest trend-words. Even the first sentence in the lead paragraph of a recent editorial in my favorite small town newspaper cited “a ton of …”

Then there’s “on the …”, especially used by sports scribes and broadcasters, as in so-and-so was three for five from the three-point arc “on the night.” Just “three for five” would have sufficed. But no, we have “on the game,” “on the season,” when “the game” and “the season” have ample clarity.

Now, if you want to talk about a genuine, bona fide, real deal trend word, then there’s “impact.” Oh, yes. It seems just about everybody likes to tell about something that has been “impacted.”

To think, not so very long ago, things were “affected.” Something “affects” us. No siree Bob. Today things or people are “impacted.” You and I remember when “impact” was a noun; or we had an impacted tooth, or, please not, one’s bowels were impacted. Enough of that.

Of course, we’re all now “you guys,” and things no longer increase, they “escalate.” “Sneaked” has been dropped by many, even very popular authors. “Snuck” is used so commonly it’s almost accepted. Not by me.

The TV correspondents aren’t just reporting from many far-flung locales. Being “there” just isn’t enough. They are “on the ground.” Which, I guess, is better than being up-a-tree or in an upstairs building, or …

And “back to back.” Don’t even get me started on that one.

Moving on. Some words are just used plain(ly) wrong. When most folks refer to the “podium” they’re really meaning a lectern or speaker’s stand. Even a little knowledge of Latin would help them know better.

We can’t leave out “close proximity.” It’s simply redundant. Proximity means close. “Funeral service.” Redundant. Funeral means a service for the dead.

Are there more such examples of trend-words, phrases, and words used incorrectly? A rhetorical question if ever there was one. Am I immune to such usages? Also rhetorical. Of course I’m not. However, I do try to avoid them.

If, and this is a big “if,” you have managed to stick with me right to the end, I thank you. Those few of you.

Next week I’ll really try to do better, to write something a bit more interesting to most people.

So. Until then, have yourself a pleasant weekend, and may next week be a good one for you.

For all of us.