27 May 2008

Words That Deserve Some Rest

There are some words that get stuck in our collective throat that get used to death, and that some people consider it necessary to use in place of pre-existing terms in some attempt to appear current. Other times a poor word is just over-exposed in media and speech-making, literally.
No, I mean the word "literally". I'm giving it a nod and no more, because radio and print and web stories have been done on the poor word. I will simply posit that we let it rest and consider it implied. Find another modifier, please.
Secondly, "troops". I love our American Military, the people that comprise its ranks, the work they do, and the sweet machinery they use to get the job done. Let's call them soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen. Call them the "Armed Forces"; please for the love of God let "troops" rest. The president can't say it without lisping and head-nodding, and even for someone who speaks without affected-Texasity, it is still a silly word to describe a very serious profession. I normally try to not fall prey to the sort of Nerd-Rage that seems to affect people when new movies don't live up to their unrealistic expectations, but hearing this word used a dozen times in a 3 minutes radio story filled with sound bites of old men deciding the fates of my friends and protectors creates a rabid disinterest in the story. This is not good. the ill-informed are ill-equipped to make proper decisions.
Finally, "geek". Speaking of sounding silly. I likely am one, but damn it already, let it rest. You aren't an "art geek", you're an "artist", you're not a "music geek", you're a "musician", or an "audiophile". "Geeks" have gone from skinny computer nerds with glasses and mother issues to skinny hipsters who write bad poetry about their mother issues. I've known people who consider themselves "beer geeks", even. You're a drunk with taste, let's just move along.
I think the g-word problem is some how related to the sanitization of language and the advent of political correctness*. Carlin gave us the progression from Shell Shock to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I'm not sure how this modified labeling of people with certain interests plays into it, but it makes my brain tickle with possibilities. I'd entertain any possible thoughts on the matter.
In the interim, if anyone suggests that the troops literally start calling themselves military geeks, I'll likely embarrass myself by indulging in some Nerd Rage, and no one wants to see that.

*PC? Fuck PC.

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