Welcome to the Grammar Grammys!
2003-03-07 - 7:31 a.m.
*WELCOME TO TORNADO ALI*
TONIGHT�S EVENT: THE GRAMMAR GRAMMYS!!!
Tympani roll, please: ...AND THE AWARD FOR �OVERUSED WORD OF THE YEAR� GOES TO:
I declare, the next person who slaps something on my desk and says, �I thought I�d bring this to you because I�m tired of working on it--and you�re the wordsmith, anyway,� or �This letter is okay, but it�s going to need some of your wordsmithing,� is going to have to hear me �smith� some really unfriendly �words� together when I tell them to LEARN A NEW FUCKING TERM!
I�m just curious-- in what meeting was it decided that saying �wordsmith� was better than saying �editor� or �writer?� Because I was either comatose then or stepped out for a pee. If I�d have been there, I�d have objected. Eloquently, of course, wordsmith that I am.
And furthermore, why must writing be compared to a some kind of trade that sounds like smelting horseshoes with a hot poker?
I have no problem being called a name that makes me sound like I might be the guy who comes to your rescue when you lock your keys in your car, but I have a problem with the way nearly everyone I know--people who are indeed supposed to be �wordsmiths� themselves--have decided to adopt it into their everyday vocabulary. I suppose in general I just do not believe in word-fashions and trends. Apparently �wordsmith� is this year�s basic black.
And why is this term acceptable for writers when �smith-ing� for other professions is not? I don�t, after all, go around calling teachers �kidmiths� or �learningsmiths.� I don�t call my doctor a �healthsmith.�
Next time my boss hands me a paper and says, �I�m going to go ahead and put this project *on your radar screen, because you�re the wordsmith,� I think I might reply with something like, �Ok, sounds good. After all, you�re the hierarchysmith!�
Dopplers or air traffic control panels, I don�t understand why I am constantly being asked if certain projects are or are not �on my radar screen.� This is just sounds way, way too much like a Dubbya-esque phrase for me to like it.
AND THE AWARD FOR �MOST INCORRECTLY AND ANNOYINGLY-OVERUSED WORD� GOES TO:
1. �Um, I�m going to go ahead and have you utilize the Dust Buster next time you drop pretzel crumbs on the floor, ok?�
2. �We will be utilizing the grant we received this winter from the governor... oh, secretary? May I utilize your stapler for a moment? ....Thank you. Anyway, as I was saying, about that grant, let�s start utilizing our thinking caps on that one.�
3. �I mean, he didn�t even call me after we did it. I just feel so.... so.... so utilized.�
AND THE AWARD FOR �MOST MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE WORD-OVERUSE� GOES TO:
�WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION!!!�
When you watch TV, you�ll hear talking heads and politicians toss this phrase around 20 times in 30 minutes. Which I guess happens when you�re on the brink of a war, but the point is, suddenly the horrific meaning of those words is kind of lessened, and you find yourself saying them and hearing them without fully comprehending what they mean: clouds of poisonous gas that can make your skin fall off before you can say �Cipro.�
And why can�t they just say �biochemical weapons?� I think I smell a word trend here.
You hear a TV man interviewing a politician, and they both use the term �weapons of mass destruction� in each sentence. Then it goes to a commercial, which is a plug for an upcoming special about Saddam Hussein, who is hiding weapons of mass destruction. And then there is a commercial for Preparation H. And so, suddenly, it seems that a phrase about something as unthinkably horrific as biochemical weapons that can wipe out humanity is used on the same level as everyday chitter chatter.
1. �Honey, did you pick up the tomatoes at the store like I asked? And the weapons of mass destruction?�
2. �Boy, last night those Jaeger-bombers really got us shit-faced, huh. Those things sure are some weapons of mass destruction!�
3. �Dear, do these weapons of mass destruction make my butt look big?�
JOIN US TOMORROW NIGHT FOR THE OFTEN-MISSPELLED OSCARS!!