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At 30000 Feet

The air is clear up there, they said.

Big becomes small, drama left behind, they said.

But what of the terrified child,

the one who’s never done this before?

But what of the foreigner,

the one who needs deodorant, like right now?

But what of the business man,

the one who’s talking over the safety spiel?

But what of the obese man,

the one who’s rattling my brain with his walrus tongue?

But what of the distracted stewardess,

the one who’s hips slam my not-so-funny bone?

And closer to home, what of the two boys, the ones arguing

for technology with rolling eyes like Vegas slot machines?

Charlie Brown’s teacher mumbles something, then we descend.

Wheels search, then grab, pavement. I crave coffee. Its embrace

obliterates the lousy flight, and instantly I’m grounded once again.

C. L. Swinney (c) 2015

Not So Catchy Phrases.

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So I’m a bit perplexed by the recent lingo I hear people of all ages and educational backgrounds using these days.  The two that I haven’t been able to wrap my mid around or compel myself to use are, “It is what it is,” and “At the end of the day.”  Normally the latter is used at the beginning of a statement, and the former appears to be used when someone feels nothing can be done about a certain situation.

I looked up these terms on the Internet.  The best place with answers was actually (not always where I’d suggest you look for answers on the Internet, but very entertaining).

“It is what it is,” was defined as:

Used to describe a situation that is unpleasant. Is to be used a lot on Microsoft Office Communicator to describe when a person has no work to do and is dying of boredom. Was coined in the Royal Bank Office, in downtown Toronto.

Person 1: “Damn that’s three weeks without any work, I’m dying.”
Person 2: “It is what it is!”

“At the end of the day,” was defined as:

An irritating verbal crutch, indicating closure or synopsis, for morons who are incapable of finishing a sentence without incorporating at least one tired cliche.

Example: “And so, at the end of the day, when all was said and done, we wrapped things up and we were all happy campers.”

The first few times I heard these phrases I hoped they wouldn’t stick or end up being used by EVERYONE.  Now, I’m at a point where I cringe and begin to shake when I hear someone utter either one of them.  The worst part is most people don’t even use them correctly or in the right context, which further exasperates the problem. ARGH!!

At a time when social media has taken over the globe and people choose e-readers instead of real books, and try to be witty or get a point across in 140 characters, I believe the English language is suffering dearly.  People verbally spout out “OMG!” and “LOL!” instead of using real words to describe emotion.  True human emotion broken down to three letters? What’s next?  I have no idea.  But, as an author, I am calling upon fellow authors and those who choose to use real words to communicate, to help preserve our language.  We need to educate folks on how to communicate instead of relying on cliche phrases.  I never thought I’d see the day that a cliche could be out of context, let alone used so much that it has its own definition.  But the time is now for each of us, one at a time, to stop the insanity.  We owe it to ourselves and our children to maintain real communication with the English language, not the stuff that makes me LMAO!!!!!!!