Our Language Is Become Suboptimal – IOTW Report

Our Language Is Become Suboptimal

The Hedgehog Review

We wondered: Were we condensing phrases to terms because we were typing with our thumbs? Had we come to expect listeners and readers to autocomplete and fill in syntax? Had work jargon saturated private life because Americans worked such long hours? Had a generation told by daycare providers that they were good toy-picker-uppers grown up to make a norm of behaviorist verbing? Had the passive constructions by which one avoids assigning blame (or credit) in the workplace made naming who did what seem rude?

Or did sounding technical have a political flavor? Did it announce, “I believe that science is real,” as some lawn signs in our new neighborhood did, along with other tenets of what apparently was a new, progressive Nicene Creed?

Or were people just preening, using pseudoterms to sound savvy?

What did talking like this do? More

18 Comments on Our Language Is Become Suboptimal

  1. “Nonprofit organizations alert supporters to “donation opportunities,” though “a chance to give” has half the syllables.”

    And government agencies take action “out of an abundance of caution” though “to be safe” has one third the syllables.

  2. Every msNBC soybean milk sipping content filler that start every pre-scripted line with “Yea, No . . .”

    Every time. Listen for it. It’s a tell.
    Just like the “I’ll be honest on this”
    And back around again . . . anyone, and I mean anyone who uses the word “Authentic” in any kind of a review.

    Scripted Verbiage

  3. “This administration’s policy going forward is to review all contingencies and seek out a collaborative effort with industry and individuals to better define our long-term goals.”

    (“We haven’t got a clue what to do.”)

  4. So, it seems like most people begin every spoken sentence with the word “so” these days. The strange thing is that nobody does that when they’re writing.

    And AA, that dropped T stuff is an irritating affectation. Another one is people, usually female for some reason, who say “attenshen” instead of “attention”, “instrukshen” instead of “instruction” and so on.

  5. Thirdtwin DECEMBER 17, 2022 AT 10:14 PM

    The exception makes the rule? Rarely if ever use the “So” starting sentences, but seem to do it often when typing starting e-mail especially.

    The one that drives me batshit is the “You know” or “Like” and makes it near impossible to listen except to count the number of times it gets repeated.

    When it reaches in the dozens I usually flip the switch and stop listening in total. People don’t realize that pauses in conversation or presentation can be used to affect.

  6. And then if you watch the video in the report embedded in the thread above this one we have the teacher Using the “uh” instaed of “you know” or “like.”

    Again, a pause or silence is better than uh uh uh uh uh, like you know it gets IRRITATING, you know what I mean?

  7. You know, like, centered around, the like, you know like, wow! Tots moronic, like, SHIT, and stuff. So, therefore, like, at this point in time, like, yeah, no. Golly! And shit, yo! You see what I’m sayin’, and shit? Casting disperions, and shit, like, you know? What the fuck, yo! You feel me, and shit?

  8. Abigail Adams, kinda late to reply to your question above, but it’s also a pet peeve of mine. My last name has a ‘t’ in it, like Burton, for example. I’ve had to spend a considerable amount of time at doctor’s offices lately, and it infuriates me when the chirpy little dingbat assistant calls out for Mr. Bur-in. I have ignored before, and after the 2nd or third time I ask who they are calling. I then explain that it’s pronounced Burton, the ‘t’ isn’t silent.
    Another example is the national news bimbette reporting that something is very im-por-ant. I want to reach into the screen and slap them and tell them to quit talking baby talk!

  9. Haha!

    Third Twin & Col. Angus — Yes! My name has two t’s in the middle and I’m amazed how someone can pronounce it at all by dropping the t sound. That leaves 2 vowels next to each other and it takes a lot more energy to pronounce THAT than to say it correctly. I’ve also reminded people (usually someone young) that the t’s aren’t silent.

    Another irritating writing habit is when I see “prolly” or “proly” — which is short-speak for “probably.” I’ve even seen someone here use it regularly in comments. I suspect that usage is to indicate cultural hipness.

    I didn’t know “golly” was a thing, even a bad thing. I’ve been saying that word for a long, long time.

    I try not to get too worked up over people’s lingo. I’m more interested in what they say than how they say it. And the younger they are, the more they’re inclined to use the slang of their peers. Word ‘tics’ come and go. Our generation used a lot of slang in our ’20’s too.

    One word I miss that is so precise in it’s correct usage is “gay”. I’m sorry it’s been co-opted into oblivion.

  10. AA, a few years ago, I went to the Middle School to drop off some paperwork for a teacher named Ms. Sutton, who was expecting it on short notice. I informed the Millennial gal behind the counter, and she proceeded to assault my ears with not one, but two phonic violations by braying into the intercom, “Ms Suh-enn, please come to the front desk…” And no, she wasn’t Cockney. No excuse at all.


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