At his request, we’re letting Doc chime in for another week. He’s feeling glum about his predictions blog of last week. Jamie Oliver hasn’t contacted him; Temple Grandin must be busy cattle whispering; and who knew that 50 Shades of Bacon was an actual book. So this week Doc asked if he could comment about something important to him: Words.
I’m a live-and-let-live type of guy, except maybe when it comes to cockroaches, ragweed, and wool dress pants. So I hesitate to endorse the wordicide encouraged by sites like Michigan’s Lake Superior State University who for 38 straight years produced a “dead words walking” list, but before sending these terms over the Word Cliff with classics like “you know,” “user friendly,” and “have a nice day,” I want to kick the phrases down the road and think about them one more time. But this site (Writix) has some good possibilities for the “hit delete” movement. Check it out.
** Aside from the dreaded “fiscal cliff” phrase, I guess their top word to delete is YOLO, an acronym for You Only Live Once. That shows how behind the times I am, because I thought Yolo was the name of a track or soccer star or something. I’m still adjusting to Carpe Diem. For the longest time, I believed it was a slogan advocating daily carp fishing.
** Of course “kick the can down the road” made the list. We all do it, but now that we have a Congress that is the poster child of the act, we need to come up with a different metaphor. However, we could still include a reference to kicking someone’s can.
** Job creators: Since the crash of 2008 this has been a common phrase in political circles, and last fall’s election put it in lights. If you grew up on a farm, you know the real job creators were called “Dad,” “Uncle Pat,” or the neighbor, “Raymond,” and the jobs were something like feed the cattle, clean out the hog house, or weed that soybean field.
** Superfood: Some worry that marketers have us thinking most anything can be nutritionally beneficial—wholesome, natural, organic, probiotic, energy-producing. I’m all for healthy eating, but one superfood from my youth still has magical powers: mom’s cinnamon rolls. I can burn off calories just thinking about how good they are.
** Boneless wings: I’m not sure why this bothered the college word assassins. Maybe they thought city folk would actually envision farms full of floppy chickens shaped more like warm silly putty than a bird. Whatever you call them, I reckon if they’re spicy enough, they could be made of floppy chicken–or natural, organic, probiotic silly putty–and they’d still taste good.
** Bucket list: Skydiving onto Mt. Everest and skiing down it while drinking a Dos Equis is cool, but evidently the wordmeisters are bugged because too many folks are trivializing the concept. “I gotta eat me one of those deep fried Twinkies on a stick before I die.” Oh well, whatever sizzles your bacon, I guess.
When it comes to bucket lists, I still like the philosophy of a good ole boy who lived in our neck of the woods when I was a kid. Pooch might be working on his farm or at his small-town gas station, but he was willing to “set the buckets down for a spell” whenever friends drove up for a chat or to lure him off to the fishin’ hole. Come to think of it, maybe he was a “carp the diem” man way ahead of his time. YOLO. by dan gogerty, picture from piedtype.com
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