Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Words and Phrases We Need to Vaporize, Dude

Pre-Internet, our world was relatively free of highly annoying verbal tics and cliches. Now, of course, we're deluged with them. I'll preface this "rant" by admitting to frequent use of "cool" throughout the 1970s—but that's all we had.

Examples: "Hey, Vince's parental units are gonna be outta town all weekend. He's havin' a PARTY!"
ME: "Cool."

"Our douche-rocket gym teacher fell and broke his arm!"
ME: "Cool!"

"They're showing Bava's BLACK SABBATH Friday night on the Ghoul's show, man." [The Ghoul—Ron Sweed—was a late-night TV show host in Cleveland and Detroit.]
ME: "Cool!"

"Tom's sellin' some cosmic trip-weed in the park—I got the live Hawkwind eight-track too!"
ME: "Huh? Oh—cool..."

You get it. We easily could have substituted "awesome" for "cool," but that had two syllables—one too many for our stoned, orange barrel mescaline-zapped brains. Social media consisted entirely of telephone, TV, and tell-yer-pals in the park. Computers were seen only on Star Trek, and in science fiction films. Oh, and in that second-floor high school room only pure future geniuses were allowed entry, the machine itself an IBM card-puncher roughly the size of a Chevy.

Compared to this, our present world might as well exist in some other-dimensional universe. Cool.

While I completely understand that language is a plastic, ever-evolving (well, maybe) aspect of human existence, infinitely complicated by the poetic cultural mulch, it does get stuck in OCD-type ruts alien to my 1970s self and associates in casual intoxication. "Cool" wasn't an all-size-fits term for things "uncool," in the way "awesome" apparently is today. Awesome, accurately used, defines that "1. Inspiring awe. 2. Displaying or marked by awe. 3. Outstanding." Webster's II says so. Cool.

This does not include: 1. Shoes. 2. Meals. 3. Pets. 4. Clothing. No, for these are the quotidian elements of life. Well, in that case, what does qualify as awesome?

1. The Chelyabinsk asteroid fragment (aka superbolide, or luminous meteor) that caused serious human and infrastructural damage on 15 February 2013, lollygagging through the atmosphere at 42,900 mph, exploding the equivalent of 500 kilotons of TNT—20 to 30 times more powerful than the atomic bomb blast over Hiroshima. Awesome.
2. The forthcoming water-cooled NSA supercomputer, capable of processing 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 (one quintillion) operations per second. Terrifying. Awesome. It's now reading this blog.
3. Every time someone wrongly uses the word "awesome," my life-span loses 1 year. Awesome. But not so cool.
4. I might have been a bit harsh with my take on "dude," as it seems to have become an accepted mark of punctuation. The instant Obama utters it, I'll convert to Dudaism. No fair bringing my love for The Big Lebowski into this.

Along these lines, there is never ever a reason to employ the phrase "That being said." Ever. That being said, the phrase is inherently redundant. Akin to saying: "Hey, man, even though I just said your new spatula is awesome, well—it's awesome." I mean, WTF dude?

Finally, why must weather reporters (some of who are certified meteorologists) refer to atmospheric phenomena as "Your weather"? Aren't we all subject to living in it?

Cool. That being said, dude, I'm stoked we had this little "talk."

Yours in awesomeness....

No comments:

Post a Comment