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Corruption of American English: It’s Content and Not the Words You Use

21 Jul

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed our English language is being infiltrated by words being used not because they readily communicate what a person means, but so people can sound more intelligent. These words include:

  • Healthful instead of the commonly used Healthy
  • Organic or Organically instead of the commonly used Natural or Naturally
  • Myself instead of the better sounding Me (to eliminate confusion after prepositions since actually learning how to use the correct pronoun would be too much work.)
  • Market/Green Grocer instead of the commonly used Grocery Store  (In Europe, they do have grocery stores despite what American cooking shows would have you believe.)
  • Pub instead of the commonly used Bar (Once again, the American inferiority complex at play and wish to relate to relatives that came here 100 years ago.)
  • All words and phrases lifted from British television shows shown on PBS/BBC America or movies.  (It just sounds like you’re trying too hard.  You can be an Anglophile without being annoying.)

The most common abusers are celebrities (especially celebrity chefs). Rachael Ray absolutely loves the word healthful, now everyone uses the word (EVOO hasn’t caught on thank goodness).  Also, when celebrities or anyone artistic wants to really encapsulate the process by which they crafted something, they say “it was just so organically” or “Tarantino’s process is just so organic.”  All interviewers should then pose the question, “How so?”  This is absolute gabbidy goop that means nothing to anyone including to them.

I wish someone would tell celebrities that it’s the content of what you say and not the words use that make you sound intelligent. And you just sound silly inventing new uses for words when 99% of America doesn’t use those words.

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