Saturday, August 16, 2008

Words to Stop Using

My husband talked about doing it many times, my mom even started one, but my brother beat them both to the punch and submitted a guest blog to me last week. Below, Nic Rennie calls for the abolishment of two rather tame English words not because they stir up trouble, but because he thinks they're unnecessary. Sorry, Nic, I didn't realize how often the f-word came out of my yuppie mouth. Now, I know better and you, dear reader, will too.

We all have (at least I assume we do) certain words or phrases that get under our skin. Some of us don’t like profanity; my sister doesn’t like “the c-word.” A lot of people (namely the fascists who program spell check) still ain’t down with the word 'ain’t.'

I may be unique in that I am not bothered by words for their obscenity or late arrival into English dictionaries. I am bothered rather by certain words simply because of the way they are used, the people who use them, and/or my deeming them to be unnecessary.

The first word I think everybody (at least people under the age of 75) needs to stop using is "supper”. This word is a thing of the past. There is no more such a thing as supper; Jesus had the last one, get over it. The s-word is to old people what the n-word is to black people. It's okay when they say it, but it’s not okay when you say it. Exactly why this one bothers me I can’t really say, maybe it’s because it reminds me of old people (expect a whole article on the phrase ‘the greatest generation’). Or, maybe it’s because although I love slang and the evolution of language, we do not need two words that are exactly the same, unless we are talking about body parts, bodily functions, or marijuana. Supper means dinner, and dinner is already a word. It’s not even like you’re replacing dinner with a cool new term like “the late plate” (ok that’s not actually cool, but you get the point). Does it make you more mature to say supper? Does it describe your meal more accurately? Does it stop you from being a douche? No, no, and no.

A word I like even less, or perhaps more appropriately, a certain usage of a word I like less is when people use the lame, pseudo-intellectual, ambiguous and totally unnecessary word “film” in place of the totally functional word “movie”. I don’t mind if you have a thin filmy substance to describe or need to get film for your non-digital camera, but to call a movie a film is to call oneself totally smart, hip, and elite while being totally wrong. Okay, f-word users, when was the last time you went to the films? Do you own any films on DVD? Does that even make any sense? When movies are recorded and displayed completely digitally (probably sooner than later) are you still going to sit there and display your superior intellect by taking the verbal road less traveled by? Or, are you going to display it by continuing to strive for technical correctness and say things like “yes, I saw ‘digitally encoded information’ and I was moved to tears because I’m a big, fat, soft-hearted idiot”? I can’t wait, oh wait, yeah I can.


AllisonDacia said...

Hooray I don't use the s-word or f-word.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alane do you have a less ugly picture of me? -Nic

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And according to this article, I tottaly agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)

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