I Guesstimate the Devastation to Your Staycation Will be So Stinkin’ Stunning!

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What verbal tic drives me crazy? I’m so glad you asked!

Some people hate the word moist, but it really doesn’t bother me. What bothers me are made up compound words like staycation. Guesstimate. I notice professional people using this in place of estimate all the time.

Orientated. I’m not sure this is actually a real word, but I’ve seen more than one job posting seeking someone who is detail orientated. Indeed.

Devastation. Any time there’s any kind of damage to property or things non-human, media types refer to it as the devastation: “We can see from this footage that the devastation is extensive.” “Tell us Bill, what does the devastation look like?” “We interviewed an eyewitness to the devastation.” “The devastation is hard to believe.” Yawn. Devastation has ceased to have any meaning.

Stunning. Go to any website that features art, photography, fashion, architecture, or design of any kind. 9 out of 10 things will be described as stunning. Also valid for jaw-dropping.

Stinkin’. People use this as an emphasis word, frequently in conjunction with so and cute. How many Facebook babies have you seen that are “So stinkin’ cute?” All of them? You are so stinkin’ right.

I hate this word. It dumbs down any statement it’s part of. How about, instead of padding statements with two weak adjectives + the nothing word so, we strengthen them by using one strong adjective alone? Adorable, beautiful, awesome are all overused but still better than so stinkin’ anything.

Oh, and speaking of padding, Paul Feig once pointed out on Twitter that “nobody has ever padded across a floor.” Damn straight.

Posted from my iPhone, just to see what it’s like.

2 Comments on “I Guesstimate the Devastation to Your Staycation Will be So Stinkin’ Stunning!

  1. Made up words that eventually make it to the dictionary? Slang becomes validated via Webster’s. And educated people can’t recognize the difference between “real” words and the fact that they have become orientated to the stinkin devastation of the English language. I can only guesstimate what this means for the future.

    • I try so hard not to be what my linguistics professor used to refer to as a “prescriptive grammarian” but my true nature resists.

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