Quiet Desperation

Unwelcome words aren’t getting the hint to leave

Column by Craig Marshal Smith
Posted 10/12/18

I am feeling empowered today to feel empowered today. My transparency is transparent, and I might even off-board my carbon footprint. Let me ask you this. Am I being too impactful? This column …

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Quiet Desperation

Unwelcome words aren’t getting the hint to leave

Posted

I am feeling empowered today to feel empowered today.

My transparency is transparent, and I might even off-board my carbon footprint.

Let me ask you this. Am I being too impactful?

This column doesn’t define me. However, I’m not sure what does.

(Maybe cynicism?)

I’m, like, academically fragile. It all boils down to better marketing techniques.

I am trying my best to build an innovative platform, and I am looking at the Big Picture, because the little picture is simply too small.

It’s important to utilize my consensus tools, or I would be unable to partner with your new technologies, if you know what I mean.

I want to optimize my environment and celebrate my framework, and double down, because I am doing this “for the children.”

Where was the word “empower” 10 years ago, when I needed it?

I’ll tell you where it was: safely tucked away in the dictionary where it belongs. But its time has come, and out it came, to co-parent with “infrastructure,” and that Bad Boy “transparency.”

An airline paid someone in marketing a lot of money to add the word “transparency” to its current advertising strategy.

Lake Superior University’s listings of Banished Words and Expressions banished “transparency” in 2008.

No problem.

(“No problem” was banished in 1980.)

A university not far from here spent $500,000 for a slogan that was already being used by another university.

I contacted the school, and a representative said the school was aware of the duplication.

“No worries. We use a different font.”

(“No worries” was banished in 2012.)

Who does Lake Superior University think it is? I guess it thinks it’s, like, superior.

I just used the word “like” extra-grammatically.

“Like” came out of the 1960s smelling like patchouli, and it still smells.

I started to hear it in my classroom in the 1980s, and figured it had a shelf life. It doesn’t.

Whenever I hear it now, I disregard the point being made. It’s a belch, really. It’s often said without the speaker knowing it was said.

When I hear someone who is 50, 60, or 70 still liking it up, I close my eyes, wince and growl.

By the way, I saw Wince and Growl at Red Rocks this summer. They were edgy. I felt their vibe all the way home.

A great place to find doublespeak (thanks, George Orwell) is on a menu.

Whenever I read “only the freshest ingredients,” I become suspicious. What else is there?

Some are and some aren’t?

“Grilled to perfection” is another one. Again, what else is there? And if I see “heaping helping” of anything, I excuse myself from the table.

One time, the menu said “crispy lettuce,” and “crispy chicken,” and “crispy fries.”

The waiter asked me what I wanted to drink, and I told him, “A glass of crispy lemonade.”

“Huh?”

I wrote a negative review for a pair of dress socks that came undone the first time I wore them.

A representative of the brand asked me to remove the review, and promised they would “leverage” the product.

I think if she had just said “improve” instead of “leverage” I might have done it.

Oh, the temptations of a thesaurus.

Well, it’s time for breakfast, and this morning I think I’ll start with a synonym roll.

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net.

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