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 (April 21, 2005

The white smoke emanating from the chimney in the Lingo Palace does not indicate the presence of a new Lingo Czar, but rather the degree of sizzle between the Czar’s ears over the further assault on language.
          Citizens are hereby advised to avoid using the following worn-out phrases, buffoonish slang, buzzwords, mistakes and mispronunciations infecting and muddling clear and dignified communication in this, the alleged 21st century. They are rated "T" (trite), "A" (asinine), "P" (pretentious), "W" (whoops), and "CP" (criminally prosecutable, with recommended minimum punishment of one day of self-imposed silence).

PROLLY---Sounds nice, looks nice. Kind of a cross between “jolly” and “pro.” A jolly pro, you know, like Barry Bonds! Actually, it sounds like a new detergent, and perhaps will become one after someone reads this. But “prolly”is not as jolly as it seems. It is doing something very unprofessional to language, yet should not be singled out for blame. “Prolly” is part of a procession of e-mail palaver; a new written slang that, as far as cool young people are concerned, is just ordinary English. Not only is e-mail erasing the last vestiges of punctuation puntiliousness, it has introduced a whole new spate of words spelled as spoken. “Prolly,” of course, is “probably.” The problem is when people start speaking these spelled-as-spoken words---purposely. Yes, The Czar actually hears “prolly” in public, employed not out of ignorance, but out of e-mail. Soon it will appear in Websters’ via that loophole, “usage.” Prolly is folly. But it prolly will catch on. A, W, CP.

THE PONTIFF---Why is the Pope called “the Pontiff?” TeeVee Newsmannequins don’t know, but that doesn’t stop them from using the word with remarkable predictability as a second reference. Tune in any TeeVee News report, and Newsmannequin will importantly and pregnantly recite his/her story about The Pope in this fashion: “The Pope today announced that chimpanzees may attend mass. The Pontiff was immediately hailed by Simians the world over. . .” It’s always The Pope/The Pontiff, The Pope/The Pontiff---as if listeners know what the hell a Pontiff is, too! (Yes, print journalism is also guilty.) One might reasonably wonder, is there a Pope and a Pontiff? Do they get along? How come you never see this Pontiff guy? For the record, Newsmannequins, pontiff comes from the Latin, pontifex---literally, bridge maker---also the title given to a member of the council of priests in ancient Rome. How about just referring to the guy as The Pope? Or The Big Catholic Cheese? Pardon the pontification. T.
Ten Years Ago, the Beatles' virtual reunion sessions took place. At one point, using John Lennon demos, the "Threetles" considered doing a full album. What might that album have sounded like? Rense speculates. Read "reFABricated" HERE.

TINY LITTLE---A big large redundancy. You hear it all the time, constantly. People and humans wishing and wanting to emphasize and stress something as being small and puny routinely and often lapse into “tiny little.” It has a slightly mildly endearing sweet quality and aspect when considered and thought of as a kind of cute and perky child-slang and youthful patois.Yet when spoken and uttered not by tiny little persons but by big giant ones, it not only sounds redundant and repetitive but stupid and dumb. Please stop and cease usage and employment of “tiny little.” W, A. W, A.

FOOD COURT---Not since “mini-mall” has the Czar been so underwhelmed by a public place term. How clinical, unimaginative, and undecorative can you get? Seems to have leaped right off of an architect’s blueprint and into speech. You know, “What are we gonna call this food court area?” “Uh. . .I dunno, how about ‘Food Court.’” Brilliant! And let’s refer to cities as “gathering spaces.” The term is as scintillating as fluorescent light. You know, “Ahm goin’ down tuh thuh food court, honey, tuh get sum artifical flavor and high fructose corn sweetener.” A real Food Court is not a bad idea, though, as it would allow for prosecution of McDonald’s and Burger King for fouling digestive systems, brains, air and water. The Czar appoints himself Chief Justice of the Food Court, and hereby pronounces the term guilty. A, CP.

STARTS RIGHT NOW---Every night, TeeVee Newsmannequins declare with bated breath, “Channel (pick a number) News starts right now!” And then you get a montage of TeeVee Newsmannequins with one of those canned Voices of Satan naming them, one by one, as if they are train-wrecks. “AND NOW. . .SYLVIA LOPEZ! DAVE CLARK!” In other words, “starts right now” is a lie. Right now means right now, not in ten or fifteen seconds. But of course, TeeVee News is where people utter the ridiculous sign-off, “For Chuck, I’m Bob,” so what do you expect? Stop right now. A.

FRIDEE---The Czar realizes this is an ancient bit of speech laziness, and fairly innocuous, but is nonetheless veree tired of hearing public figures speaking of Mondee and Tuesdee, and Wennzdee, etc. It’s a dailee annoyance. Besides, the word, “day,” is a rather joyous, sounding big and broad and full of possibilities, while “dee” sounds too close to fiddle-dee. W.

REACH OUT---A Lingo Czar perennial, revisited here because of the Bush administration’s incessant use. “President” Bush loves to talk of “reaching out” to this or that country/minority group/Democrat. I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t want to open a door, or turn a corner, and see George W. Bush reaching out for me, that’s for sure. In fact, I don’t much like the idea of anyone “reaching out” at me. What are they reaching for? What are they going to do when they get hold of me? Hm? I know, I know, “reach out” has all sorts of touch-feely hoodoo, as if the reacher is selflessly putting aside his/her desires to accommodate the other party. All these reachers are just reaching for PR, of course. Put “reach out” out of reach. T, A, P, CP.

FRIENDLY AND CONSTRUCTIVE EXCHANGE---Also, “friendly and constructive dialogue.” You expect this sort of clichéd rhetoric in politics, but unfortunately, in the Bush administration, all you get is clichéd rhetoric. There are no lines to read between, let alone statements of specific intent. Queen Condolllleeeezzzaaa uses this more often than Bush says “Unitashtashe,” most recently in reference to her meeting with the man Bush calls “Pooty-poot.” (Maybe W has been listening to too much hiphop.) Yes, I’m sure Queen Condy and Vlad the Paler had a “friendly and constructive exchange”---about the weather, and maybe kitty-cats. Especially since Queen Condy spoke Rusky. But one doubts that “friendly and constructive” characterized their discussion of, say, Chechnya, or China, or whether Pooty-poot runs for a third term. On the other hand, maybe she looked into his soul, as Bushy-Boy did, and---gasp, the prospects are too grotesque to consider. Friendly and constructive exchange? Now, how gullible and naïve do these people think that the American people are? No no, check that. They’re right. T, A, P, CP.

I ASK YOU---Well, go ahead. T.,A.

I WOULD JUST LIKE TO SAY---Well, go ahead. T., A.

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK---Well, why don’t you? T.,A.

OUTED---Maybe this is what happens when Bush “reaches out.” After all, CIA agent Valerie Plame was “outed” by someone in the Bush administration who remains unapprehended and unproscecuted to this day. As does right-wing columnist Robert “Treacherous Cretin” Novak, who broke the news, effectively “outing” Plame himself. (While other reporters who picked up the news second-hand face prosecution.) “Outed” is part of Americans’ strange penchant for turning nouns into verbs, along the lines of “referencing” and “efforting” (groan.) The “gay community” (where is this community, anyhow?) apparently came up with this one, as an abbreviation for “coming out of the closet,” meaning an open admission of homosexuality. How about an open admission of mangling language? T, A.

OUT---“Out” is in again. Beatniks (allegedly) said “way out,” hippies “far out,” and now the latest bohemian types are abbreviating things to “out.” As in “out there.” This music is really out. Between “outed” and “out,” “out” is worn out. Get out. T.

AMAZING---Another perennial, revisited here because of that most hallowed of modern American television programs, if not sacred religious rituals: “The Bachelor.” Here, specimens of American stud breeding stock appear, just about exhaling reproductive hormones, wearing the little boy mussed hair look so craved by ovae-deranged American female breeding stock. Without exception, the stud male refers to each one of the women craving his enormous um, presence, as “amazing.” Especially the rejects. “Jenny, you’re an amazing person, but. . .” Well, in a way, it’s true. These people are utterly amazing, if not for the reason Stud intends. They are perhaps the most vapid, puny-spirited, self-adorning, venal, healthy, and downright worthless humans to ever cross the Czar’s consciousness. Amazing has long ago been drained of any of its wonderful original meaning by overuse, but this employment should put the term permanently out of work. CP.

THERE ARE NO WORDS---Spoken almost daily by this or that honoree, newsmannequin, crime victim, professional baseball player, judge, attorney, euologizer, herpetologist, “there are no words” is this era’s staple stab at eloquence. Says Newsmannequin: Of course, there are no words to describe your loss, but. . .Says baseball player: there are no words to describe this moment. . . Says crime victim: there are no words to describe the nightmare. . .Says judge: there are no words to describe your deeds. . .Hold it! Wait a second! Listen, there are words. There are lots and lots and lots of words. Many of them, if they do not reside in one’s head, may be found in things called dictionaries. Words are for speaking, and thinking, and describing. Yes, the Czar realizes that these three activities are on the wane among many U.S. citizens, but still wishes that they would stop speaking the phrase, “there are no words.” Just because you don’t know enough words to speak a sentence does not mean they do not exist! T, A, P, W, CP.

IMPEDENT---Now, to the best of The Czar’s knowledge, this word has only been spoken once. Yet considering the speaker and his audience, it received a great deal of attention, and therefore merits a warning. You never know what could really catch on. Here is the sentence: “Government should be an advocate of faith-based and community-based programs, not an impedent to faith-based programs.” You guessed right--- the speaker is “President” George W. Bush, in Washington, D.C., Apr. 1, 2005, and the word he was prolly---er, probably---going for was “impediment.” But dropping a syllable or mispronouncing a word or a thousand is no impediment to this impudent fellow. W, CP.
Have yourselves an amazing Lingo day, which starts right now.

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