When you ask someone how he or she is, the inevitable reply nowadays would be “I’m good.”
How I hate that answer.
It’s not even correct English.
But times – and expressions – have changed.
Perhaps fueled by IM, SMS and all that twittering.
(I tried using Twitter when it was still in its infancy – it was some time last year or the year before last – I soon found it to be such an irritation. Funny how it has now exploded worldwide.)
It’s a lot easier to type “Am good” rather than “I am very well indeed, thank you and how are you and your family and has grandpa died yet?”
One other word that irks me to hell is “thingie”.
It is one word which encompasses everything.
Instead of describing an object or an event, just say “thingie”.
You know that Valentine’s Day thingie that we were planning to do?
If you have teenagers at home chances are you’ve seen them doing five things at once: texting friends, downloading music, uploading videos, watching a movie on a two-inch screen, and doing who-knows-what on Facebook or MySpace. They’re the first generation to have literally grown up digital – and they’re part of a global cultural phenomenon that’s here to stay.
And they’re the ones who came up with phrases like “I’m good” and “thingie”.
Don Tapscott has overseen a US$4.5m study of nearly 8,000 people in 12 countries born between 1978 and 1994. In his book Grown Up Digital you can see some caricatures of today’s Net generation.
I can forgive the vocabulary-challenged for saying words like “thingie” but the next time I hear someone utter the phrase “going forward” I will take off his head.
“Going forward” is one of those useless phrases like “at this point in time”.
What’s wrong with good old-fashioned “now”?
Who cares what point in time unless you are measuring precise nano seconds?
It sounds good – “We will review this going forward”.
Not long ago, I saw PUB CEO Khoo Teng Chye using that phrase on TV.
Excuse me? “Going forward” is the ONLY way to go, because what is the alternative? Staying put? Going backwards?
Too many people are stuck in the past, both in their personal and their professional lives.
Sloppy clichés, impenetrable jargon and meaningless verbal litter, like, just clutter and obstruct clear communication and hide superficial thinking.
In my profession I spend my life around the globe, listening to the endless drone of business-speak and I can’t wait to move forward to chop all the heads of every idiot who utter that meaningless phrase.
Another phrase that drives me nuts is “too much information”.
It is an expression indicating that someone has revealed information that is too personal and made the listener or reader uncomfortable.
It came out of teen chat rooms:
Horny teenage boy: “My smegma smells like Camembert cheese.”
Equally-horny but pretending-to-be-innocent teenage girl: “Ouch, too much information!”
And now old people are using that phrase too.
Maybe they think of themselves as recycled teenagers huh?