Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ready to be like actually ....................

Back in 2002 I took my son on a tour of college campuses to help him ‘discover’ what school he wanted to attend. He ended up graduating from the good ol rootin-tootin University of Texas, right here near my backyard. Well, maybe its a little south of my back fence, but anyway at least its in his home state. But, before he settled on full time partying and frat slumming at UT, he wanted to see New York University.

If you haven’t been there, let me tell you about it. It’s a unique campus, just cuz it doesn’t have a campus. Its buildings are strewn about the south end of Manhattan like confetti on a windy day, following a hero’s parade before the street sweepers arrive. Each building flies a purple flag on their front, with the logo “NYU” emblazoned on it, or maybe I should say it is imprinted, since emblazoned is probably too effusive a term. The flag has a nifty torch on it too, symbolizing something about' holding out a lamp of knowledge against the darkness of ignorance'. Must have been coined by an Obama speechwriter (speaking of overly effusive) back when he or she was a student. Anyway, the point is, you know you got off the city bus or subway at the correct point, to hold up your lamp, if you see the purple flag on the NYU owned buildings. So what, you ask?

Well, on the tour of NYU, (which - oh by the way - costs per year what 2 new Lexus costs and oozes the same class divide snobbery) there was a very intense, yet pleasant, young man who relied heavily on the phrase ‘actually’. As in saying, this is ‘actually’ where we have business classes, and this is ‘actually’ where the freshmen students can puke after too much beer, and this building is actually near the actual police station for this district. And so forth he carried on, with a steady stream of ‘actuals’ and ‘actuallys’.

At one point, I turned to BEG and said, this kid is overly fond of the word actually! Then I made a prophet of myself. I told her that it must be the newest ‘catch-cool’ phrasing and was likely to spread from Manhattan to Los Angeles and soon kids all across America would be using this phrasing.

How right I was! Now it is even commonly used by major network reporters! I’m ready to throw things. I love words, even though it sounds major geeky and I’m always sorry for sounding geeky, old or cranky – but by God and Jimi Hendrix – PLEASE everyone quit saying ACTUALLY!

First it was ‘like’ this and I was ‘like that’ and I said “Like dude, just get over it” – and now it’s ACTUALLY!

I’m like actually, like banging my head on my actual table, because I have like recently caught myself using this overused word as if it were the damned actual swine flu and I had failed to wash my hands of it.

It has me in its grip. I’d rather be like actually dead.

Do you like, actually here me? Can’t we just move on to the next, yet new, horrible overuse of a common five-cent word?

Sorry, I guess it didn't have anything to do with purple flags after all.

18 Comments:

Blogger Lynilu said...

Actually, I'm actually guilty of overusing "actually," too. I (actually) noticed it a while back and began trying to (actually) limit its use in my vocabulary, and I realized (actually) how hard it is to stop saying "actually." I (actually) know I can express myself (actually) quite well without it, but it just keeps creeping back in, (actually) often enough to (actually) make me tired of it myself. I can't (actually) imagine what others feel about it as the (actually) listen to me.

OK, I'll stop. But it's true, and you know how I hate it when you're right. New phrases or words slip into our language almost without our recognizing it, becoming verbage (verbal garbage!). It's similar to certain clothing or hair styles that I say I'll never wear, then at some later date, find myself doing it anyway. I hated when "like" came to be the most frequently abused word with a comma on each side of it and in place of other words ("I was, like, 'Hi' ..." instead of "I said 'Hi'..." Huh??).

Now I'll, like, actually shut up. Carry on!

Damn, I'm glad you're back!

September 17, 2009 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Seven said...

SL,
So, its not just me. Whew!

September 17, 2009 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

Nope. Not just you. I have several other examples of irritatingly wrong grammar, but I will avoid putting them here. It's your blog, not mine! :)

September 17, 2009 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Seven said...

Make yourself at home and fell free to express yourself. It's a socially liberal, financially and constitutionally conservative site. Complex, like its owner.

September 17, 2009 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

:D Thank you!

September 17, 2009 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

'freakin' is one of my pet peeves that I've caught myself using lately. And 'actually'. I never got into the 'like' trend so much, or the 'dude'.

Complex, huh? I'll agree with that.

September 18, 2009 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Seven said...

I know. Freaking is supposed to be a substitute for the really naughty word that describes the mating act conducted in the absence of affection, but it does sound odd every time I hear it.
I'm waiting to see what's next.....while the elder in me laments the loss of literate responses in the world's electronic fast lane.
There is a blog on track and field that I read regularly. The comments always go something like "Yeah, you rock dude - great job!" or "I agree -that really sucks dude"
What happened to literacy? asked the old cranky man.

September 18, 2009 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

"Freaking is supposed to be a substitute for the really naughty word that describes the mating act conducted in the absence of affection"...really? Huh, how about that.

;)

September 18, 2009 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Seven said...

Kid McIntire,
Making fun of me only wins you new points. Unless it turns freakin abusive.

September 18, 2009 at 2:55 PM  
Blogger Monogram Queen said...

Just for the love of all that is holy do NOT start liberally sprinkling "like" in every sentence!

September 18, 2009 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger Monogram Queen said...

Oh, and "Cakes" I shall remain evermore ;)

September 18, 2009 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger Seven said...

Cakes,
I NEVER use 'like' unless its a complete brain hemo, or in jest as in the post. BTW: Your Facebook status entries make me hungry.
Later Carolina Gator

September 18, 2009 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

First ~ when did we start a point system?
Second ~ nawww, too easy...

September 19, 2009 at 12:26 AM  
Blogger Seven said...

Naive Kid McIntire,
All the big guys keep a perpetual list. God, Santa and 7. Maybe Buddha, but I'm not sure about him, cuz I understand he stays busy sitting still and meditating mostly. He looks a little pudgy lately.

September 19, 2009 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

Only the most naive would call me naive.

September 19, 2009 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

HI!!! How the heck are ya?

That's all I actually have to say.

September 21, 2009 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Seven said...

Jennster!!
I'm as good as it actually gets! Hope you're well.

September 21, 2009 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Good to hear. I'm great.

Actually.

September 22, 2009 at 2:21 PM  

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