Maybe I am getting old. I remember a time when TV and water were free and porn cost money. Now I’m certainly not a "Grammar-Nazi" or a word-nerd, especially given the locker-room opinions I spew weekly (some would say “weakly”). But people out there really need to focus on cleaning up their language, especially as it relates to overusing three words that are dumbing down the English language: “like,” “literally” and “amazing.”
For the 40-and-unders out there, you know how you use the word “like” in, like, every other sentence? Don’t!
When folks my age, those who can remember when Elton John was married to a woman, interview you for a job, the use of the word “like” as some filler crutch word is maddening to us. And when done in a high-pitched, nasal, Kardashian-Valley Girl way, it’s akin to torture. It makes you seem vapid, imprecise and, quite frankly, stupid. This has gone on too long, and I have been meaning to say something about it. So, please, stop it.
You know how you kids use the word “amazing,” like, all the time? Don’t.
Witnessing your child’s birth is amazing. Your sandwich from Whole Foods is not “amazing.” Neither are the jeans Ashley just bought nor the top she wears with it.
The synonyms in the dictionary for “amazing” include: astonishing, wonderment, astounding, stunning, shocking, breathtaking, spectacular, stupendous and phenomenal. Ashley’s jeans have been mass-produced in a Chinese sweatshop for 50 years; there is nothing “amazing” about them. So please stop using “amazing” for anything mildly above average. People who are constantly “amazed” are low-IQ folks.
Lastly, you know how both men and women use the word “literally” way too often? Please stop.
“Literally” is a crutch word used when you are trying to bring emphasis to an otherwise boring story about yourself. I heard a guy say the other day, “It was literally raining cats and dogs.” Now unless there was an explosion at the humane shelter, this cannot “literally” be true. For “literally” to work, what you are saying must have a figurative meaning that is actually happening. That does not occur every other sentence when you are telling a story about you and your roommate Skeeter going to a concert.
If you use it too much, you can join a literary society: Americans Who Figuratively Use Literally, or A.W.F.U.L.
I blame these expensive, non-judgmental colleges we have that have been dispensing terrible educations for decades. To do well at these liberal colleges or to eat in a Washington D.C. restaurant today, you have to be a Liberal. Democrats have not made going to college so difficult or denied so many access to restaurants since the 1960s.
If you are willing to borrow stupid amounts of money in student loans and pay these dope colleges, they will pretend to teach you anything. Cal Berkeley’s language department even offers — and I am not kidding here — HBO series "Game of Thrones" fictional language courses: “Dothraki for Students.” They are great courses if you are minoring in English and majoring in Letting Your Parents Down.
Ronald J. Hart, a libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com or visit www.RonaldHart.com.