By ANDREW FLYNN, Managing Editor
As Americans, we have progressed to a time in our country where information is easily gained to nearly anyone who has the desire to acquire it. Any able-bodied person has the ability to turn on the television, query the internet, or visit their local library (in extreme circumstances) and discover knowledge…and most of the time it won’t cost them a single cent. We view it as commonplace now, but look just a few years back in our history and you’ll see that conveniently searching for new ideas and information was a different method. We’re truly blessed in the technological age that we live in. We have the ability to learn languages and even improve our own understanding of the language that most of us use every day, that being English. Or, we can collectively sink deeper into our couches and continue bastardizing it until it is of such mangled status, that we cannot use it anymore with any modicum of efficiency.
My intention here is to bring mention certain words of our treasured English language that are overused, and to invite welcome alternatives. This is all in the hopes that we don’t go the route of the status quo when a situation requiring the use of those overused words comes about and predictability ensues. Such a word is “unbelievable”.
This word is used too much. I’ll cite a few examples, just in case you think I’m full of spaghetti. It really seems to me that anytime anything the least bit unusual occurs in this life, people inevitably use phrasing such as “man, that was unbelievable” or “well my goodness crackers, that’s unbelievable that it happened to me”. It could be that a cat just jumped our of a tree and frightened you. It could be that protesters would be chanting it that their political opposites might be doing something they do not like. It could be that Geraldo Rivera was trying to eke out a worthy moment in his awful journalism “career” by making something appear more than it really is.
“Unbelievable” is a term that we should use only in extreme circumstances. If you think about it, are things like what I mentioned really that unbelievable? Is there anything that really shocks or surprises you so much that you have to resort to calling something “unbelievable”? I don’t feel that I’m alone on this one, although you may correctly characterize me as someone who may think about things too much. Trust me, it’s all in the attempt to correct the path and make things more interesting. So while it may be a case of too much analyzing, I ask you to ponder this notion, and just see how you really think about it.
The next time that something happens to you and requires you to exclaim a few words to allow you to communicate your outward emotions about the situation, try some of the next few words and phrases on for size…they’re in italics for your convenience. If you get in car accident, say something like “First my car got broken into, then the deli clerk wiped a booger on my sandwich, and now this! This has been quite a day!” If you’re out protesting somewhere and the people you’re rallying against are doing things that you don’t like, say something like “This is truly offensive! Why don’t you dump that toxic waste in right into my crock pot of freshly stewed beef?” Consider it an improvement to expression And if you’re Geraldo Rivera and you want to get some attention, go right out there and exclaim “I’m an untalented pseudojournalist hack with a terrible moustache, now is that impossible to believe or what? These are just a few suggestions in getting you to think about what you’re saying.
Again, it’s not in the attempt to program you at all. If I was going to try to program you, don’t you think it would have been done by now? If you want to keep using your current vernacular, please go right ahead. But don’t expect me not to say something in objection to your being boring and unoriginal. Bastardizing the English language just isn’t something that any of us should do. If we can help it.
And that’s my giving a damn.
Part 4 of Afterwards premieres this Saturday! Do this: