Friday, October 14, 2005

Locutions I hate

OK, this one's a gripe-session. I don't have time for much more due to pressures of business and exams. But I'm starting to wince every time I see any of these:

1) "Stuck on stupid." I can understand the Right using clichés. But inventing them and holding on to them for dear life? What are they trying to prove? That they all think alike? That they don't think at all?

It appears that this phrase originated with a certain Lt. General Russell Honore, who thereby deflected some tough questions from the media, or attempted to. This was his reasoned response, in fact, to an enquiry about where evacuees would be taken if Hurricane Rita caused a Katrina-like catastrophe. His little game delighted the Right: one in the eye for the "MSM." It has, after all, limitless possibilities: "Mr. President, where are the WMDs?" "Don't get stuck on stupid." It's more reader-friendly than "F*ck you, I'm in charge," I guess.

2) "über-" anything at all. Who came up with this pretentious nonsense anyway? Sticking a German prefix onto English words as an intensifier gives the user some kind of cachet, is that it? Über-bloggers, über-brands, now übersexuals. Good grief. Is this nostalgia for the good old days of Übermenschen and such? It would certainly be in keeping with the temper of the times (tail-wag here to Mark Collins for the reference).

3) This. Kind. Of. Stupid. Writing. What on earth do people think they're doing with this tiresome device? What is such a thing meant to convey? That long sentences are evil? More likely, that the speaker is more important than what's being said. It's pure Grade Ten drama queen, is what it is, and it Simply. Has. To. Stop. Right. Now.

4) "MSM." I know, I've been on about this before, but it doesn't seem to be having any effect. (Insert your smiley here.) The implicit assumption--that blogging is somehow more informative, true, honest, and politically reliable than what the corporate media puts out--is twaddle. It's simply more editorialized. Bloggers aren't reporters--we're columnists, at best, at least those of us who actually write articles instead of bolding a few words from someone else's writing and posting a link.

5) "Librano$." OK, OK, enough, already. We get it. Jeez! Note to Kate over at SDA: Don't be over-broad in your use of this by-now mouldy term. I've never voted Liberal in my life.

6) "Moonbats." Well, this will delight the rightist bloginos who dart through the blogosphere with velocity but no mass, but some of us grown-ups who like to have debates actually get a little tired of the name-calling. Sure, we all do it--on occasion. I've just done it here. But--news flash--we don't rely on such devices to win arguments. Reasoned rebuttals are cool, though. Just not as common as they ought to be.

All right, enough for now. But readers are invited to post their least favourite locutions here. I think we need to assemble a collection for an appendix to Blogging for Dummies.

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