Remove these words from your vocabulary

By Morf Morford

Tacoma Daily Index

These terms are “so last year”

Do you have words or phrases that drive you crazy?

For some reason, the past year or two has pushed far too many of us into almost gibberish baby talk.

We could blame isolation or the lowest common denominator of social media, but regardless, we all find ourselves adrift in a world of catchphrases and soundbites that, for better or worse , seem to express our (not so) deep thoughts and observations on life and the challenges that lie ahead.

Or, as one university put it, they are “words and terms that are overworked, redundant, oxymoron, cliché, illogical, nonsensical – and otherwise ineffective, confusing or irritating.”

Here are some phrases and terms that define our times and which, to a large extent, defy common sense – and generally standard grammar.

Wait what?

Yes, this ubiquitous two-part interrogative, according to a university English department, is “misleading, divergent, deviant, and other damning words that begin with the letter ‘d’.”

In its own distinct and cobblestone defense, it captures, even embodies the disembodied bewilderment of our times when nature, politics, economics, weather, our relationships, and even the status of our own bodies seem to lead us into perpetual confusion and uncertainty.

Could any of us imagine a year or two ago when we had to take a test to see if we were sick?

Didn’t we all know that at the time?

But now we don’t seem to know anything.

But our “certainty” is apparently stronger than ever.

ask a friend

Some terms are inherently absurd or even ironic. “Ask a friend” is one of those terms.

I’ve only used that term a few times, and never thought about it seriously. Is it possible?

This term may have been a little cute the first few times. But that was a long time ago.

Turn around and dive deep

If we needed one phrase (or in this case, two) that captures the essence of the pointless meandering through an endless maze that seems to define our times, it would be these two terms.

The throwback certainly seems to encapsulate the feeling of endless COVID surges and economic reversals that seem to be emerging ahead – and behind and all around us.

Deep diving is the perfect term for these armchair experts on everything from our Constitution to epidemiology.

The term deep dive apparently refers to watching more than one YouTube video on a given topic.

This is apparently enough to counter any professional who would have spent years researching a given topic.

Reading a real book, or even more extreme, writing a peer-reviewed article on a topic is considered “elitist” by these instant interweb experts on everything.

It’s the new normal

It’s a term I’ve used, but I can’t help but feel like there’s never been a consensus on what’s ever been ‘normal’. Or could be. Or maybe.

Or should be.

Or what kind of marker we would see once we got there.

“Normal” is the ultimate moving target.

And what word has a shorter lifespan than “new”?

Everything “normal” is, or was, “new”.

Is the word “normal” an aspiration? Sarcastic? Nostalgic?

The last few years have been so crazy that I would settle for a “normal” even a little worn, maybe even refurbished.

No problem

When it comes to intrusive nonsense, you can’t beat a term like “No worries”.

Is it a dismissal? A goodbye? A thank you or a term of appreciation.

Anyway, thanks for telling me not to worry. It really helps.

Supply Chain

Yes, virtually everything that ends up in our homes or on our plates is the end result of a system of sellers, traders and retailers.

The terms ‘supply chain’ have become the go-to scapegoat for anything that doesn’t arrive or doesn’t arrive on time and any shortages.

We build the plane by flying it

Some phrases, like this, are so out of touch with reality, yet familiar, that we rarely notice how absurd they are.

Maybe it’s just me, but if I’m flying in a plane or driving a car, I expect my vehicle to be fully operational.

Long before the trip.

If not, the journey will certainly be short.

Somehow, in previous eras, we got along just fine without verbal flatulence like those terms.

There was a mythical time, from what I hear, speaking simply and clearly, the use of words with real meanings was common among at least some people walking the earth.

If they ever existed, those days are long gone.

A clear and consistent, even inspiring statement would rarely be recognized or appreciated in today’s public discourse.

We have become so used to gibberish and inconsistency that we can barely recognize the thought of a politician or public speaker who says something worth listening to.

We don’t need social media to turn up the volume and drown out sanity and decency, we can be just as opinionated, ignorant and arrogant without it.

Social media just makes things easier.

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