Wednesday, January 02, 2008

On Banning "Wordsmithing," "Waterboarding," and Describing Colors that "Pop" - Scolds on a Tear

The Lake Superior State University censors released their annual list of words to be banned earlier this week. I wanted to see how many of them could be worked into a single paragraph. http://www.lssu.edu/whats_new/articles.php?articleid=1431

In a scene that can only be called “emotional,” I read the list of proposed banned words "authored" (or is it "wordsmithed"???) by the Lake Superior State University experts in their latest attempt to throw the majority of us careless speakers “under the bus” for one more time. Oh well, “it is what it is.” A bunch of academic snobs, bored with writing about “Black Friday,” engage in a deconstruction of the vernacular of American English that can only be described as totally “random” and bereft of a raison d'etre. In this “Post 9/11” world, I suppose academics have nothing better to do than to critique the “organic” nature of spoken English. All such snobs who declare that such prissiness “is the new tolerance,” should be subjected to “waterboarding” and made to participate in their own inane “webinar.” What happened to noblesse oblige and the sense of “give back” by those who have been privileged to enjoy such a top rate education? “Back in the day” when people used Blackberry’s without a Bluetooth, before people described contrasting colors as making things really “pop,” academics generally left insipid locution alone. But, in the “perfect storm” environment of serious daily news regarding the “surge,” economic downturn numbers as the housing bubble bursts, and a “decimating” of standards for education in most states, couldn’t the scholars from Michigan come up with something more important to proscribe than a few dumb colloquialisms? Or, as the teens say today in response to everything from pictures of underclad women to winning football games, from consuming a satisfying meal to getting an unexpected snow day: “Sweet.”

2 comments:

Amill-Presup said...

I read the press release when the list came out. That night, there was a brief story about the list on a local TV station. They then proceeded to use SIX of the verboten words in the next ten minutes of broadcast. HA!

MDB said...

Hilarious! Oh wait, am I still allowed to use that word?