Sunday, March 24, 2024

WEEKENDER: Word Salad, by Wiggia


One of the more noticeable and annoying traits of modern life is the mangling of words to suit the current theme/trend.

This started some time ago but has accelerated over the last couple of years. The most obvious in the last year has been the use of ‘optics’ rather than 'seen', it is almost as though 'seen' is old hat and no longer describes what is portrayed before one. It is used by all who wish to to appear relevant (?) in the woke world we live in; in fact optics is word from the scientific world meaning the study of light in various forms and has nothing to do with how badly Boris Johnson dresses!

The acceleration of verbiage has largely come about through the use of modern communications. A whole new language has developed as the use of abbreviations has usurped correct language, u instead of you as an example. It is a lazy short cut but is used by virtually all younger users of mobile phones, the hows and whys though obvious has a purpose, but that is not what I am illustrating here.

Two areas are the prime examples. One is thrown into relief by the madness to accommodate the trans lobby and advocates: an endless stream of meaningless phrases and invented words are bandied about as if anyone cares, pronouns are a prefix to be used when addressing people who are not sure who or what they are. Why this should be a concern for everyone else is a mystery but on and on they hammer away with their faux offence and slight expressions and replies when not addressed with the 'correct' prefix.

How many of the general public know what all these tags mean or are moved enough to actually use them, or care? I certainly don’t. Those who are showing signs of offence, though there is doubt as to how genuine it all is, inhabit the strange world of Tik Tok. All have virtually identical mannerisms, the same robotic voices and appearances that suggest they should get out more though I doubt few would ever appear in areas outside their own small world dressed and adorned as they are.

In many ways I doubt if their appearance and use of language has anything much to do with their actual perceived state, it is just another manifestation of the ‘look at me’ society that grows by the day.

The other group is the commentators, the interviewers and the interviewees. Here using a word such as 'optics' is not optional but a necessity to remain on cue. Luckily it is last year's word and dying a death, but other examples are the use of age definition phrases starting with Boomers, Generation X, Millenials, Generation Z, and Gen Alpha to come; not only do I never use the phrases but I have never heard in private conversation anyone using them either. It could of course be an age thing but more likely who can be bothered to remember different terms for words or phrases that are easy to define and still in use as well as being self explanatory.

An example of an older version of this word salad is cockney rhyming slang, if you believe the middle educated! Classes who seem to revert to forms of this slang every few years to show how conversant with the peasants they are but nothing could be further from the truth.

I was raised and lived in the east end of London until I married and moved away. Whilst not exactly within the sound of Bow Bells I did spend a lot of time in my ill begotten youth in the area. During all those years I only met two people who would occasionally resort to using the rhyming slang, despite those who believe that all cockneys went round saying ‘where’s the struggle and strife’ (though I do admit to using the phrase ‘I am going for a tonsorial’ on occasions) but much that is written today is just made up slang to give the impression it is still in use; it isn’t, and like so much of today's word salad it will be confined to that historic lexicon in the sky.

It would be disingenuous of me to suggest all new words should be confined to the dustbin of history, some will survive and will be added to the English language as they always have been; but how many in reality other than these few will still be in use in future times. Others stem from abbreviations; one in particular is used almost exclusively in a sporting context: 'GOAT' (greatest of all time.) I believe it first came to prominence when used to describe Valentino Rossi the nine times world champion grand prix motorcyclist; I could be wrong but it has since been overused as all these phrases are.

Anyway must go my neighbour has just come round with his ‘dustbin lids’.



Sackerson said...

I thought GOAT was Blairite for Government Of All (the) Talents.

'Eastenders' is now recorded in Hertfordshire. To live in the real East End now you need a million quid for the house, swelp me.

Scrobs. said...