The Lifespan of a Fly


Evil talks amoung us
June 29, 2010, 7:03 AM
Filed under: Generalizations | Tags: , , , , ,

I thought about writing a post about the summer, but Mr. Sun has been keeping me up pretty late recently so my cognitive skills aren’t what they should be. Instead, here’s an excerpt from a piece I wrote about the misuse of language to suit our own, selfish, evil purposes (actually, they’re the best parts, I left the boring research out):

At least once a week I receive mail for the old homeowner all marked “Special Offer Inside” or “Free Trip” or, on those red-letter days, I get the one marked “URGENT”. Well, if it really were that urgent wouldn’t the advertising companies bother to look at their last two years worth of returned mail branded with my handwriting which declares “Moved, return to sender”. Nice try guys, but he hasn’t moved back in.

I can barely understand what people are saying to me anymore. I hear words like “mofo” and get confused. What is it an abbreviation for? I still don’t know what Jennifer Lopez means when she sings about having her own “floss”. I’m sure she does have her own, dental floss is cheap. These are the things that I no longer understand; and I am from the generation that has coined these terms. Every generation must have had to deal with ever-changing slang and they all must have learned how to survive.

However, the one verbal-fart that has managed to burrow deep and hold on tight is the word “like”. Is there any better example of language abuse than this small, seemingly inoffensive word? The true meaning of “like” is to compare similarity or opposition, so when I hear “I was like all in her face, she like couldn’t believe I said it” or, my very favourite, “So, like, what do you mean?” Are you asking me what I mean, or something similar to what I mean? Did you get in her face or did you just want too? “Like” has been used and abused so often that no one even notices anymore. I will hear educated people who use “like” to introduce an action, or a conversation, or both at once and I want to scream “WHY?!”

The more often I see “urgent” and “important” the less likely I am to believe it is just what it says it is. I am, however, inspired by those ambitious advertisers who do not limit themselves to one-word misrepresentations only, but entire clauses. Now when I see “Incredible Savings Enclosed” I begin to dream of all the large, lovely, previously unaffordable items I can furnish my house and myself with. Then, I open the envelope. Wow! These savings certainly are incredible, I never thought I’d receive a book of coupons for $0.20 off Kraft Dinner, and buy-one-get-one shoelaces (when used exclusively of course). With these savings, I may soon be able to afford my dream trip.

Do not allow yourself to be controlled by words; words are a creation of man. So, why is it we cannot control our creation anymore? Have we created a monster that has escaped its master to run rampant, or instead shall we reign in our creation and train it to obey?

(oooh how’s that for some rhetoric)

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