HAVING “THE BEST WORDS” IS NOT ENOUGH / by Bo Gerard

They have to make sense, too!

If you think this is going to be an anti-Trump tirade, I am sorry to disappoint you.  This is an anti-DUMB tirade.  And this dumbness is being predicated by an axis of evil: advertising and marketing agencies.  They have infiltrated so many nonsensical words and slogans into common parlance that we are all becoming desensitized to the badly formed phrases we see and speak each day.  For example:

“EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED” -  Sounds OK, until you think about it for a second. Then you realize that if you are expecting the unexpected, it is no longer unexpected.  Because you are EXPECTING IT!  So, you can’t expect… AAAARH!.  Moving on.

“NEW & IMPROVED” – A phrase we’ve see on hundreds of product packages.   But, it’s like the story of the child telling their parents that when they grow up, they want to be a musician, and the parent saying ‘You can’t have it both ways.  A product can’t be both new AND improved.  If it’s new, it’s new.  If it’s improved, it is by default not new, but an older product that has been improved.  But we “consumer sheep” happily accept these advertising gimmicks without question.  Baaaaahh

And as our language become weakened and rendered more and more meaningless, we stop questioning everyday phrases that have gone astray, and repeat them as if they still have meaning.  Like:

“I COULD CARE LESS” -  100% of the time this phrase is used to communicate that the speaker does not care at all about the thing in question.  But, what they really mean to say is, “I COULDN’T care less”.  A subtle but crucial difference.  It’s not so hard adding a concise contraction.  Won’t you try it?

And lately, I have heard people, both in person and in the media, say, “TO COIN A PHRASE”, when they actually meant to say, “TO QUOTE A PHRASE”.  Coining a phrase means that you are its originator, and it should be attributed to you.  And while I am ranting, there is a very old and famous phrase that could be much more clearly understood if you just switched two words.  “YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR CAKE, AND EAT IT TOO”.  This, of course, means you can’t use something up and still have it after it’s gone.  Well, why don’t we just say it that way?  “YOU CAN’T EAT YOUR CAKE AND HAVE IT TOO!”  Makes more sense, no?

Words are important, and like our President we must all have, and use, “THE BEST WORDS”.  And we must be ever vigilant to defend our language from the creeping crud of advertising slogans and everyday complacency.  And for those who disagree with me on these observations, to coin a phrase, “I could care less!!!”