Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dude! and Other Language Pet Peeves

I do not want to hear anyone, especially a woman, using the word dude, in their vernacular. It's past its expiration date of hip, new slang. As far as I'm concerned it's unimaginative and a sign of evolutionary regression. It's not cute, chic, creative or fun. It's Spicoli at Fast Times at Rigemont High. Period.

I'm also fatigued by one or two word answers as a general response to everything being said — "Cool," "Sweet," "Awesome," "Nice," or "You Rock," "Right on." Really? Why? How is it sweet, awesome, nice or cool? Why do I rock? Please elaborate, articulate and use your words, plural, to describe and explain why you think what you feel or why you feel what you think. Language is beautiful. Why be so economical with speech? It's not always effective, and it's rarely engaging. Why should I be interested in you if you are making no effort to be of interest?

What happened to expressive articulation and the colorful, imaginative use of language? I enjoy slang and creative updates of classic words. I'm a huge fan of Ebonics. I love language and its evolutionary transformations. Therefore, I want to hear the fullness of it, not just sound bites.

In our impatient society, most names are butchered to one syllable and responses to queries are often minimized to a solitary word. Texting has replaced speaking and text messages go as far as to use one letter to replace an entire word or an abundance of acronyms for shallow, single aspect expressions. I have more reactions in my being than "OMG!" and "LMAO!"

Where are our adjectives and verbs and sentence structures? Could it be that people are simply no longer in touch with their feelings or thoughts enough to elaborate on them? Have we become a one-dimensional nation of expressionless automatons? Are we really too busy to speak? Or is it fear of not seeming culturally relevant if we actually use language as a form of communication? These annoyances used to be reserved for teenagers, now I find them in women and men of all ages. Is evolution itself becoming extinct?

I miss the poetry of language, the original, loquacious verbiage of my intellectual, artistic friends who are now too busy living life to take the time to write or speak about it.

The words of Gwendolyn Fairfax, from The Importance of Being Earnest, ring now in my head, "I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on a train." I do not want to be the most interesting person I know.

Please be introspective and share those reflections with others. Think, ponder, muse and then express, articulate and communicate, please. My brain is drying up from lack of outward verbal stimulation from others. I need for people to come alive and use their wit, cleverness and imagination to generate stimulating and entertaining conversations and leave the robotics of language to ghastly sci-fi and reality TV. May the Internet bequeath its thesaurus to us all.

I could keep using more words; but I, along with the rest of Americans, have a word limit.

Word Count 522