Sunday, February 28, 2010


I pay so much attention to language, it's not funny. So I try to make it funny, and sometimes that works out and sometimes, it does not.

But one thing I have learned over the years of paying attention to how we speak and write is that words and expressions come into being and then sweep across the nation like crazy.

I believe that "actually" might be on the wane now. This shorthand for the dreaded "it is what it is" is simply an amplifier, to lend added credence to our words.

No, not that Creedence! The kind that some people seem to want, so as to make their sentences seem more worthwhile or something. As in:

Diner: "Do you have creamed spinach?''
Waitperson: "Actually, we are all out of creamed spinach. A busload of vegetarians was just here."

And all he had to say was, "No, sorry, all out!"

Wag that I am, I enjoy using "hopefully" in its proper employment, which is as an adverb, meaning to do something with hope. So, whereas it is wrong to say, "Hopefully, Rush Limbaugh will shut the hell up while he still has a shred of dignity" it is correct to say,"Hopefully, I went to my medical appointment the other day."

It sounds crazy, but it just might work!

So here I am with another prediction: the new catchphrase to sweep the nation is "moving forward" or other forms of it. As in, "Moving forward, we see prospects for a brighter tomorrow" or the slightly less elegiac," as we move forward in our relationship, I promise to stop throwing garbage in your yard..."

Moving forward. The only way to go. It reminds me of getting on the elevator in the ground floor of the courthouse one day, and a lady got on, asked me if we were on the ground floor, and then said, "Does this car go up?" It's an elevator, not a lateralator!

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