As it is, I'll have no truck with the mincing fuck who describes me as "49 years young," nor the pipsqueak who boasts about "speaking truth to power" nor the twerp who reminds us that "elections have consequences."
And you know who I'm also about to ban from my language lawn?
Turd-smokers puffing on about the need to "live your best life," and smarm-sellers urging us all to "find your why."
Let's take these trending linguistic lard-asses one at a time:
What does it mean to "live your best life"? Is a single mother in Weirton, West Virginia who is six months off heroin, back working at the gas station and just got her kids back two weeks ago living her best life? Is Donald Trump living his best life? Or is "living your best life" reserved for the super dad on paternity leave from his law firm, who runs up and down the Chicago lakeshore pushing his identical twins in a jogging stroller? Like the tiny fart that it is, the "living your best life" concept dissipates on contact with the first gust of reality.
"Find your why." With increasing frequency and gathering consternation I have silently tolerated repeated references to this stunted syntactical soubresaut in meetings of high-ranking professional communicators. No more. Again, what is the meaning of this, as it is used to refer to people, or to institutions?
If you're a person looking for your "why," here's where you find it: On the Internet, by typing in "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs." (And here's what you do if you make it to the top of that Hierarchy: Keep your mouth shut, because nobody wants to hear it.)
Even more phony is the increasingly common discussion about giant nonprofits or mega-corporations "finding their why." I'd like to see what Andrew Carnegie or Henry Ford or Jack Welch or Meg Whitman would have said if some consultant they were paying dared to ask them, "What's your why?"
First of all, if a nonprofit can't explain its "why" in one sentence, its board should resign instantly. Nonprofits are formed for a social purpose, and if they need to explore their "why" it means they've found a new cause: grubbing for money.
And if the CEO of a large corporation attempts to explain its purpose (to its customers, employees, society at large, shareholders and pollution recipients) in a single sentence, it should be suspected deeply, the way we all suspected Buddy from Buddy's Carpet, when he said on his commercials, "I don't care about makin' money, I just love to sell carpet!"
"Find your why" is baby talk used to describe the profoundest questions—what is the meaning of our life? what is the purpose of our work?—and adults shouldn't use it.
Adult writers, of all people.