I'm accused of bringing too much emotion and not enough intellect to my linguistic analysis.
If anything, I think I'm not emotional enough.
I'm not a professional linguist; I only care about language to the extent that it pleases me, or pisses me off. It pisses me off when it's pretentious, or inherently dishonest.
Watching this Diane Sawyer interview with the Facebook geek Zuckerman, I ran across an example of usage that pissed me off mightily. Watch the video, and see how he repeatedly uses the quickly-uttered word "right" in what's either a totally presumptuous or an utterly manipulative way.
This usage—and I see it out of the young smart alecks from Silicon Valley to MSNBC—puts forth a coercive assumption that whatever the speaker is saying must be "right."
This is right up there with people—the same well-educated young-ish people, usually—who say "sort of" way too fucking much: At some level, I sort of felt a kind of enui.
Hey kids. You know how you sometimes watch FOX to see what the morons are talking about, and then Sean Hannity opens his mouth for four seconds and says something so jerky that you switch the channel real fast because you don't need more anger in your life?
Well what do you think the clodhoppers do when they click over to MSNBC and in the first minute, hear Rachel Maddow and her guests starting answers to questions with the word "so," saying "right" at the wrong time and using "sort of" three times in a sentence?
Think like an Ivy Leaguer; talk like a regular human being.
Starting to hear “look” being used in a similar fashion.
Ever considered anger management?
Here in the UK your post would raise more than a rye smile.
David Murray says
Why more than wry, guy?
Chuck B says
Emotion is certainly more fun than intellect; and yes, I had to double-check the spelling of “intellect.” Truth be told, I had to double-check the spelling of “double-check.”
Jennifer Wah, ABC says
You crack me up.
(And I’m pretty sure I am guilty of both your cited crimes; de-friend me immediately!)
Aw, give him a break. He’s 26. I was saying “like” all the time when I was 26 and a high school English teacher! Heck, I was only a few years from using “totally tubular” as an adjective, right?
Tyler Hayes says
Not to mention Diane Sawyer did an — warning: opinion ahead — awful job interviewing him.
Also, Taylor Mali does a Def Poetry performance of his poem, “Totally like whatever, you know?”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmLE2bliXCI