Friday, January 3, 2014

You Watch Your Phraseology

Picked up Yes, I Could Care Less by Bill Walsh today. The subhead is how to be a language snob without being a jerk. Got as far as page 2. Introducing us to the concept of common usage, and that some words we consider incorrect are just nonstandard, Walsh then chooses to admonish us: Language change is inevitable, so why not lie back and enjoy it? The first chapter title is are people just careless? I already have the answer to that. The last line I read made me feel sick. I don't know any other reference, or colloquialism or dialect or usage that could relate to any other understanding of the phrase. I am bloody sick of this sort of thoughtlessness. My mother, when she did explain the reasoning behind whatever punishment had been meted out, would talk about how balls start rolling. Let this go, and then there's more, because clearly it's okay through common usage to pass on this, and that pass gains momentum and here we are with every state in the US, and the government of same, trying to take rights away from women. There are cat fights on twitter and facebook about slut walks and slut shaming, which only tells me that women have jumped into the fray in a way that helps nobody. We have had a decade of more women's rights reversals than in any other decade in history, and a contributor to this affront is letting phrases like this continue to live. Women are hypervigilant, and if we're not, we damn well better start being. For me today, it's refusing to read a book that uses that thoughtless and foul reference.  Some thinking person needed to have taken that phrase out. Thanks, Mayor Shinn, for the title of this post from Meredith Wilson's The Music Man.

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