Saturday, November 13, 2010

Language Abuse

The Real World, Get a Real Job, etc.   Used, in my experience, by dissatisfied people attempting to force others into bitter resignation.  "Real" in this context means such things as "brutally competitive," or a job with benefits, respect, and/or a decent salary -- but even then, I've never heard "get a real job" uttered with anything but contempt.  The misappropriation of the word "real" would be laughable, if it weren't sad -- with a fraction of awareness of the totality of existence, never mind potential, the embittered mistake psychological prisons for metaphysics.

(See also)

Always Been, Always Will Be   A claim to knowledge that isn't possible, and as above, always with the air of having been defeated.

Old Fashioned   Identifying with a generation or two back -- if you go past that you're just weird. 

You gotta do whatcha gotta do.  No way!  Really?

"They say . . ."   Who says?  How ignorant or cynical do you have to be to lump every "expert" together under a single term?

Do You Believe in God, UFO's, Marxism, Homeopathy . . . ?   Somehow, questions concerning the existence of certain things became conflated with questions of trust, even utility.

Metaphysical   This word has somehow been extended from philosophy by book hawkers to mean not only "pertaining to things 'beyond physics', such as magic and mysticism", but also, for some reason, phenomona such UFO's, crop circles, secret societies, and alternate histories/conspiracy theories.

All Natural   Unlike organic, "all natural" has no legal backbone.  Putting aside the phrase's possible total  uselessness for the moment,  products can be described as "all natural" but still violate the accepted use of the phrase.  There is an endemic and disgusting tendency to so promote products, featuring such man-made modifications as traits from traditional agriculture, transgenic technology ("GMO"), and manufactured pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, fertilizers.

Hambugger   Not pronouncing it HAM-burg-er is funny only if I am not about to eat one.


  1. American born worker (AW) to foreign born coworker (FW):

    AW: We're going out for hamburgers, do you want to come?
    FW: No thanks.
    AW: Oh, are you vegetarian?
    FW: No, I don't like Ham.

  2. I can't stand the phrase 'Less is more', and the use of 'What's more...'.

    Why can't you say what you actually mean? Either 'Less is better' or 'More is better'?