Write Again: The language that we use
Published 7:26 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Alright now (or all right if you prefer), you may probably say “There he goes again” about today’s column.
To begin. “Snuck” Lordamercy. It has come to be accepted. And to think I thought sneak-sneaked-has sneaked worked just fine for all those years.
So, if “snuck” works for the past tense of “sneak”, then I guess “puck” could become the past tense of “peak”. Ridiculous.
“Escalate”. Remember when “increase” seemed to work? Not now. We must use “escalate”.
“Impact”. Whatever happened to “affect”? Nothing much seems to be “affected” now. It’s “impacted”, folks.
A “ton” of whatever. To think we benighted thought a “ton” was two-thousand pounds. “Back to back.” Think about it. Wouldn’t “front to back” make the metaphor more apt?
“At the end of the day…” When I hear this, I always complete it with “we’ll use a cliché.”
Time was, when a business concern closed, it was said “it has closed.” Simple. Now, we read or hear that it has “shuttered.”
Assigned or given a job to do? Oh, no. We are “tasked” with it.
You thank me for something, my response is “You’re welcome.” Not so with many. They say, “No problem.” I want to respond with something like, “Oh, goodness me. I’m so relieved. I was so hoping it wouldn’t be a problem for you.”
One of the newest words now is “woke.” As in “He’s woke about…” I think it means “aware of, sensitive to, racial prejudice, bigotry,” etc.
Did you ever notice how on TV the young girls and women say, “Oh, my God!” so often?
Maybe the most cringe-producing expression of all is “You guys.” It is ubiquitous, and perhaps the most frequently used of all. It has become gender neutral.
And guess where the correspondent on TV is when reporting. “On the ground…” Not in a tree, a building, what have you, but “on the ground,” baby. Just being “there” isn’t good enough.
All this isn’t a problem. No, sir. It’s “problematic” now.
Is any or all of this, which in some form has just about always been the way of it with this fluid language we use, really important? Perhaps the most appropriate answer to that would be somewhere between “not really” and “of course not.”
It’s just how it is, has been, friends, to some extent or other. We all, quite probably, use cliches, trendy words and phrases at times. Human nature, I suppose.
Enough, already, as some would say in Jersey.
Make your weekend be pleasant.