Sunday, August 12, 2007

Overheard at Panera

"She's not a bad person-"

"She's a bad mom."

- Two women judging - ahem, chatting, by the serve-yourself iced tea station.

Wow, did I overhear that correctly? Yes, I did.

The increasingly common "You're/he's/she's not a bad person" is faint praise indeed. It ranks the describee of a slightly higher moral caliber than Stalin or Hitler yet many, many levels below the pristine perfection of the describer.

That interchange put me in a foul, misanthropic mood. Therefore...

More random linguistic peeves

The verbification of America: Journaling, texting, tasking. Yes, the U.S. is a nation of ACTION - but the English language already has thousands of perfectly good verbs. No need to make more.

"In a dark place": Unless you're talking about the tornado cellar or a dungeon (in which case, you're oversharing), use sparingly. Example to avoid: "During my 18 months of grad school, I could not afford to eat sushi even once. I was in a dark place." (confession: that one came from me, albeit semi-sarcastically)

"A time of healing": Blech. Although once I could afford sushi again, I was very excited. Healed? Perhaps an overstatement.

"Knowledge worker": Why is this description restricted to white collar jobs? I consider the plumber a knowledge worker. He knows how to fix a toilet; I don't. Indeed, that's why I'm calling him.

"Ping me offline": Although this usually signals that a conference call is wrapping up (a good thing), the mental image I usually get is of someone taking his or her index finger and plinking the "pingee" in the forehead. Ouch!



At 2:41 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

This reminds me of the line by Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather: "I never thought you were a bad consigliere, Tom. I thought Santino was a bad don, rest in peace."

A couple of overused verbs nowadays are Googling and TiVoing.

And speaking of "knowledge worker," when did "prositute" become "sex worker"?

Another post inspired by Panera, I love it. One of these days, I'll publish my Panera Tourette's Corner post.


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