The Rip Post                                                                                              


riposte2.jpg (10253 bytes)

Sept. 10, 2009

          The Lingo Czar is back from, among other things: a visit to the ER for an exploded shoulder (my, that Dilaudid was good!), five weeks with no use of the right arm, a month-long virus that turned sinus cavity and sleep mechanism into a carnival, a vacation that necessitated a good deal of Xanax, and, of course, the usual disgust with humanity and its inane use of language. To say that His Wordliness is happy to be back is not exactly accurate, but niceties of some sort seem requisite here.
          Has it been a year? Seems like only yesterday.
          So. . .
          Citizens are hereby advised to stop using the following insipid American slang, buzz-words, e-mail patois, virulent clichés, and peer-enforced coolspeak inculcating media-softened brains. 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.)

THISHYEAR/LASHTYEAR---Now, affectations come and affectations go (and I wish they would.) Especially among the most affected of all deliverers of spoken English, TeeVee Newsmannequins. Just they way they shout certain words as if talking to kindergarteners is impressive enough. Imagine if everyone began speaking this way to one another. “How’s it GO-ING?” “I saw a NEW Honda Insight YESTERDAY on WILSHIRE.” (Nodding and shaking head for emphasis.) Sheesh. And all those feral-Americans feared Obama hypnotizing their children. . .Well, anyhow, this is to focus on the latest shtupid shtylistic virus to infect the tongues/teeth/lips of Newsmannequins, which is “thishyear” and “lashtyear.” Gone is the division between the words, for starters, but also dispensed with is the clear “s” sound in good ol’ “this.” Somehow, an “h” is being added just before “year.” No, Your Verbalaciousness cannot explain. It would take a linguist to accomplish that. Or, as a Newsmannequin might pronounce it, a “linguisht.” (The Rip Post resident linguist explains that this phenomenon probably qualifies as “anticipatory assimilation,” “sh” being more palatal than “s” before “y.” Got it?) Why has this caught on like Swine Flu? Your guessh ish as good ash mine. Here’s hoping it’s gone by nexshtyear. A, W, CP.

LOL---I know, I know. It’s so ingrained and imbedded in discourse as to be impossible to extricate. Like Glenn Beck’s head from his ass. But Your Syntactical Majesty loves to lean diagonally in the direction of windmills. Somebody’s got to do it. So this is to wish that LOL would go AWOL. Permanently. Either that, or people should just begin saying LOL in addition to typing it. You know, when someone tells you that old joke about the grasshopper in the bar---where the drunk looks at him, and says, “Say, buddy, you know they’ve got a drink named after you?” and the grasshopper responds, “Oh, really? Irving?”---just say “LOL.” It’s so much easier than mustering the energy to laugh out loud (you don’t want to spoil that sexy fast-food-grown gut by exercising those diaphragm muscles, do you?) Or you could employ it derisively, sarcastically invoking it to goad the annoying. Someone gives you the finger in traffic? Yell, “LOL!” Yes, it could get you shot, but is more likely to engender confusion, and buy you enough time to escape before fellow citizen draws his or her gun. And hey, why not just extend this to all cyber-speak? Start speaking cyber-speak instead of writing it! Soon it will be declared a dialect, if it hasn’t been already. Like Ebonics. Graduate students will write dissertations on it---and in it---and can a Cyberspeak major be far off? Hmm. Really, that’s no LOLing matter. . .T, A, CP.

PEEPS---As in “my people,” as in “You’re one of my peeps.” Has everyone turned into cheap Easter candy? Let the Czar confess here and now: he never aspired to be a “peep,” let alone one of “your peeps.” There are peeps, er, people, it seems, who just absolutely thrive on employing every single little bit of slang they can sling, as if this somehow endears. Uh-Uh. Just makes them hard to endure. These peeps might not be creeps---might be perfectly nice peeps---but they poison their chances of being taken seriously by employing such annoying patois. Not since white people began talking about “the ‘hood” has the Czar been so peeved. Stop peeping. A.

JUST SAYIN’---What are you just saying? Huh? Hm? What? “I’m just saying. . .” just litters comments sections throughout cyberspace, and has crept into mainstream media commentary. Formerly a conversational rejoinder implying (however disingenuously) that one is not making a strong statement of policy, but merely pointing out an aspect of an issue, this cliched blubber is now part of written blabber. While it is a great thing to be able to write as one speaks, thus making syntax easy on the mental ear, it can be taken too far. Hell, it has long since been taken too far. You read op-ed pieces---and fiction, for that matter---that come across like some overgrown high school girl’s blog. Come to think of it, overgrown high school girl blogs are pretty hot property these days. I’m just saying. T, A, CP.

TRACTION---The Czar believes that all comments sections from all websites---from the entire Internet, really---should be eliminated. This will enable many Americans to go back to whittling, incest and moonshine. He also believes that television should be reduced to five hours per day, three hours of which are taken up with old cartoons and animal documentaries, and that in the remaining two, only fifteen minutes of commentary be allowed. This would, among other things, eliminate the 24-hour media avalanche that teaches everyone that everything that has no direct bearing on their daily life. . .has a direct bearing on their daily life. No more nightmares about genocide in Darfur! No more worry about tidal waves in Indonesia! Why, people might start reading books again, talking to their children, planting gardens, shaving. Of course, this would be bad news for the pharmaceuticals that manufacture anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication, but hell, they can self-medicate on all the unsold stock. It would also result in a great culling of TeeVee Newsmannequins, something the country desperately needs. Thus Diane Sawyer and Wolf Blitzer could find more honest and rewarding work, such as driving buses or trash trucks. And this would all but eliminate the terrible phenomenon of TeeVee Newsspeak, in which all manner of dopey cliché and buzzword spreads from channel to channel like Santa Ana wind-fed flames from pine to Angeles National Forest pine. And one such buzzword would be “traction,” as in “This story is gaining traction, Anderson. . .” As if news is a game to be handicapped, a gossipy horserace. Ever wonder why a story gains “traction?” Could it be that it’s because lots and lots of Newsmannequins keep talking about it? And is that because they are afraid that if they don’t keep talking about it, somebody else will, and steal their ratings? So the people who are giving the stories “traction” are often. . .the people reporting the stories in the first place. Yes, the snake eats itself! T, A, P, CP.

PRESSER---Once again, the lowly TeeVee Newsmannequin offends! For years and years, TeeVee “reporters” (calling a television journalist a reporter is like calling Danielle Steele a writer) have sought to appear vital, cool, important by using inside terminology on the air. One of the landmark such instances was when they appropriated the police idiom, “shooter” (for “suspect,” “assailant,” etc.), practically en masse. Always with melodramatic tone and importantly arched eyebrows. Oooo---how noir! They spoke that clinical Mickey Spillane-type cop lingo! And Newsmannequins, of course, love to use TeeVee terms on the air, to show how inside they are, and impress the rubes (as in “toss,” “bumpers.”) Now they have suddenly begun spouting “presser” (for “press conference”) as if this is the hallowed, tried-and-true label---not an abbreviation used in morning staff meetings. Everybody is giving “pressers,” suddenly. Ooooo! Thanks for letting us into your neato-keeno inside world, Newsmannequin! A, P, CP.

POSTPARTISANSHIP---Yes, the Czar has actually seen this in print, and assumes it must now be spreading like Oprah’s thighs. As with many words to which “post” has been affixed, this is a meaningless expression given weight by virtue of mass adoption by Punditmannequins. The “postpartisan era” joins “postracial America” and other such bits of contrivance that help make up the verbal arsenal of columnists and gumflappers galore. By inventing and employing these terms, the Punditmannequins make them seem real. It’s almost like there is collusion to create notions, concepts, ideas that have no substance---but sound hifalutin’---then tacitly agree to use them ad nauseum. After all, it’s difficult to pontificate for a living, and you need all the false intellectual conceits you can muster. There is no “postracial America,” and there never will be, at least not until intermarriage so blurs racial definitions that everyone is the same shade of burnt sienna. There is no “postpartisanship,” and never will be, because it is against human nature to not be partisan. But such terms have a wonderful, if unintentional use. When you read them in a column, or hear them from the lips of a commentator, you may regard this as a signal to utterly ignore anything else this commentator is saying. The finest use of “post,” of course, may be found at the top of this website. A, P.

PASSED---Rejoice! No one dies anymore! Now, everyone. . .passes. She passed this morning. What time did Michael Jackson pass? I’m afraid that I have bad news---your father has passed. Passed? Passed what? Passed out? Passed gas? This is the only expression you now hear---again from ye olde Newsmannequins---for dying, always delivered with a quiet, sober tone, and slightly knitted eyebrows. It’s like “warm.” Have you noticed that the weather is almost never, never “hot” anymore? Weathermannequins will use the “h” word only when things are over 100 for several days on end. Why? People don’t want bad news! So the Weathermannequins have all been taught to frown sympathetically and tell you that the “warm weather will continue,” as you sit nearly naked in your habitation box, drenched, humidity coalescing and running down the walls around you. Screw ‘em! And screw those Newsmannequins who affect the tone of morticians as they announce that someone has croaked, kicked the bucket, shuffled off this mortal coil, cashed in his/her chips, is pushing up parsley, shaking hands with the old groundhog, turning into fettucine-al-dead-o. . .by using “passed.” Urp. A, P.

EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON---Forgive the Czar’s lack of subtletly here. This is the most dirt-stupid dumbass airhead drooling tongue-lolling piece of idiotic phraseology currently palavered. It often, but by no means always, emanates through the glazed smiles of so-called Christians and other adherents to religious fairy tales. It suggests that every event, though usually negative ones, occurs because it are part of “God’s plan,” or a generalized cosmic working order, that will lead one to some logical, if not epiphanal, resolution. Truck ran over your toes? Happened for a reason! Someone stole your bank account and your house burned down? Happened for a reason! Hair began growing uncontrollably on your kneecaps? Happened for a reason! Here is some information for you, take it or leave it: as W. C. Fields said in “The Man on the Flying Trapeze,” “Things happened.” That’s it. Things happen. Stars explode, galaxies melt, the universe expands, toilets get stuck. What your little brain does with events, or about them, is a privilege of existing as a human with free will. If you wish to attach a reason, or see logic in random occurrences, bon apetit! And if you wish to chirp, “Everything happens for a reason,” like some hotel desk clerk saying “Have a nice day!” have a grand time. But if you are now having the slightest doubts about the veracity of that assertion, you are ready to try to understand that everything is chaos, and chaos is everything, and that chaos is a form of order. Want to know what the great logical order of the cosmos looks like? Here you go! And the next time you hear of a friend committing suicide because of horrific events in his or her life, or some poor damn kid getting blown away in a drive-by shooting, please do not say “Everything happens for a reason,” at least not in hearing distance of The Czar. T, A, CP.

GOOD TO GO---Oh, where did this come from, and how did it overnight come to be reflexively spoken by every waiter/hotel clerk/service industry employee on earth? No, sir, you’re good to go! Right, that does it, you’re. . .good to go! We’re good to go! Sounds all nifty, spiffy, and wrapped up tight, doesn’t it? But. . .go where? How good are you? What’s so good about going? Is there such a thing as being bad to go? Or good to stop? A.

THE NEW---Seventy is the new fifty, fifty is the new thirty, power Yoga is the new Pilates, green tea is the new coffee, vampires are the new Harry Potter, pale is the new tan, rabbits are the new cats. I simply turn to the late Peter Allen, who wrote and sang, “When trumpets were mellow/ And every gal only had one fellow/ No need to remember when/ 'Cause everything old is new again. . .” A.

Okay, peeps, you're good to go. Have an LOL lingo day.



                                             BACK TO PAGE ONE



© 2009 Rip Rense. All rights reserved.