ME AND WORDSWORTH: There you go again

11 Jun

BLeeveBlog: Greetings, Willie. Good of you to pay us a visit again. How is your summer going so far?

Wordsworth: Swimmingly.

BLB: Excellent. Well, we appreciate your agreeing to stop by from time to time to point out overused words, verbal crutches and anything else in the not-so-spectacular vernacular.

Wordsworth: Nice one there.

BLB: Thanks. So what’s trite that’s attracting your spite?

Wordsworth: Wow. How many more of those do you have written down?

BLB: Just a few…

Wordsworth: Splendid. Well, to answer your question, looking back I’d have to start with “going forward.” Suddenly, the future tense of our verbs is not enough. People have to slap on “going forward” or “moving forward” to the beginning or end of their sentences to confirm the plans or actions or whatever in question will be in accordance with Father Time. Totally superfluous and rather annoying.

BLB: Nice call.

Wordsworth: Until time machines come on the market or unless “Back to the Future, Part IV” is being written, please drop the “going forward,” folks.

BLB: Okay, moving on… What’s another front in your “Word War”?

Wordsworth: Man, you’re un-BLeeveable! [pointing to the corporate logo on the wall in BLeeveBlog’s plush North Atlanta offices] Well, to play your poetic game and answer the question: you can’t spell epidemic without E-P-I-C.

BLB: Ah, yes. Of course. Do you think epic is today what “awesome” was in the ‘80s and ‘90s?

Wordsworth: Hmm, maybe so. At any rate, the word is absolutely being pounded into the ground. Maybe ‘cause it’s so easy for the Gen Y crowd to text? I remember an associate editor I used to work with who described as an “epic fail” her mistake of responding to an email of mine when she meant to forward it. I mean — really?!? Every time people use that word to describe some Facebook photo or a weekend visiting their college cousin in Austin, it devalues what is truly glorious and magnificent like the Navy SEALs’ unannounced visit to Abbottabad or Game 6 for the St. Louis Cardinals last fall.

BLB: Well said, sir. Well, as you know, we’re here in the blogosphere where, as another Willie wrote, brevity is the soul of wit. What do you want to conclude with?

Wordsworth: Here are some quick observations or notes to wrap this thing up… Have you ever noticed how only pigskin broadcasters feel the need to constantly remind us what sport we’re watching? “What a football game!” As opposed to just a game. “This is a well-coached football team.” And “Talk about a talented football player…” I think ESPN’s Lou Holtz says “football” an average of 3.5 times per sentence.

Secondly, in honor of U.S. Open week, I wanted to put the spotlight on Peter Kostis, the CBS golf announcer and analyst who sounds like he’s covering a root canal, not the best players in the world on another beautiful course. He likes to say “well holed.” Umm, as opposed to a poorly holed shot?! You’ve seen my game — I could certainly stand to have a few more poorly holed shots per round…

And, finally, thanks to the commercial real estate pro I interviewed a while back who could not stop saying “the ability to be able to…” That was quite entertaining. But then again he’s smartly chosen to make his living with numbers, not words, so the joke is ultimately on me.

BLB: Word.


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