Monthly Archives: May 2014

Where has my language gone?

I recently saw article about the marriage of Kim Kardashian and Kenye West, and what struck me is how they described the pair: Kimye.

It’s no different than calling Jennifer Lopez J.Lo and Brad Pitt and Angolina Jolie Brangelina.

I cringe every time I see those. What’s so cool, hip and creative about combining the names of individuals? As if they can’t exist without the other? Why are not feminists screaming foul about this?

But I get off subject.

I’m not surprised. With text messaging, Twitter and other “gotta-have-it-now-I-have-no-patience-for-things-lasting-longer-than-three-minutes” culture we live in, no wonder I see so much squishing of names and phrases (such as LOL, WTF, etc, ad-nauseum).

As one who loves words, I know language evolves. We add hundreds of words to the dictionary every year. A few more recent additions being (some of which are pretty cool) per the Oxford Dictionary: Demosthenical, stagmatics and wackadoodle. Not that I know what they all mean, but they sound neat.

At least on the internet I find much of our language devolving instead of evolving. If we continue to shorten our written communication to mere acronyms, how is that different from the various grunting of our neanderthal ancestors?

I’m being harsh, I know. Slang has always been around and always will be. I can’t help but wonder, however, if all the shortening of words for the sake of time we lose what makes language complex, vibrant and just plain interesting.

I got two words of the day: Onomatopoeia (yes, I had to look up the spelling) and etymology (I didn’t have to look up that one. Yay me).

What are you doing?

On social media, and even in my own circle of family and friends, I hear a lot about the terrible things happening in our country and the world – whether it’s the loss of our freedoms, Common Core, abortion, and a myriad of other emotional, controversial and political issues.

After the complaining, however, what do most of us do?

Nothing other than sharing memes, petitions and websites that parrot our own opinions on a particular issue. They are nothing than a form of mental masturbation — a way to feel good about ourselves without doing anything productive. After the links no longer work and memes all but forgotten, nothing has changed. Too many of us don’t want to take a real risk, to make a real difference. “But, hey, at least I feel good about myself!”

I will admit I’m not one who’s acting, either, so you are more than welcome to call me a hypocrite. This entry is as much a conviction on my lack of response to the evils of this world as to others doing (or not doing) the same.

My excuse is nothing more than lack of passion and lack of courage. I’m a gutless wonder when it comes to confrontation.

Yet, if we don’t like where our society and government is heading — and we do nothing — who, then, is really to blame? Our leaders are like children. They will do as much as we — the voters — allow them. Recent history shows that stepping into the voting booth once every other year isn’t enough.

I’m reminded of a little girl who recently gave Michelle Obama a copy of her father’s resume who’s been unemployed for a few years (if memory serves). While sweet and heartbreaking, it also shows that we’ve put too much power in the hands of our leaders in lieu of doing the work ourselves.

We seem to believe we don’t have the power to change things, and that is far from the case. If there are no groups who are currently working with our representatives to make a particular change, nothing is stopping us to create our own. With the prevalence of social media, it doesn’t take much effort to get the word out to like-minded people who would like to also participate.

We have the power. We’ve always had the power. Now we have to exercise courage to actually do something instead of depending on someone else to do it for us.