This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Since It's Been a While Since My Last "Short Shorts" Entry...

Here's a new one! An all-new one, I might add.

1. "They" are doing it again.

A few times in the past, I've mentioned that people are either changing the meanings of words outright, or at least, using them in slightly new ways. I don't mind that -- unless the change in question is, like, f**kin' stupid -- because I fully realize that English is a so-called "living language," and a language either evolves or eventually dies out... just like those dinosaurs which our ancestors were all riding six thousand years ago.

(By the way, usually when I write something like "a few times in the past," I include handy-dandy links to examples of my having done that. Not this time. Sorry. Too much to do today. I may go back and re-do it at a later time, but... Probably not.)

Two or three (or maybe even four) years ago, I noticed that more and more people were using the term "grow" in ways that were acceptable, but slightly different from the norm. It had always been standard usage to "grow" tomatoes or corn, for instance, but now people were saying things like "grow your business" or "grow your income," when previously, words like "expand," "increase," and the like would have been preferable.

So. The word "grow" wasn't being used incorrectly, just "slightly different from the norm." But now it is the norm, because enough people have been doing it, and for a sufficient amount of time.

(On a related note, I've actually received spam ads offering to help me "grow [my] penis." That certainly gave me a weird mental image. Somehow, the idea of cutting it off, and then planting it in the backyard in hopes of eventually adding to its length didn't seem worth it to me. But that's just me; I'm funny that way.)

Anyway, over the past few months, I'm hearing and reading that a lot of people are using the term "oversight" the way "we" used to use "overseeing." And if you look up the definition of "oversight," you'll see that "supervision: management by overseeing the performance or operation of a person or group" is indeed its secondary definition. (But notice that they did throw in the word "overseeing" so you'll know what's up!) And "an unintentional omission resulting from failure to notice something" is still the first definition listed. My point is that I've only started hearing that second definition lately.

And they're still doing this crap without consulting me, which is the part about it that really bothers me. Bastards.

2. Please don't be offended by this next one, folks. I'm just making an observation, and not saying that the people who do this are stupid, or evil, or anything remotely negative. No, really! I repeat, I'm just making an observation.

When did people start posing for pictures like their heads are glued together?

You know what I mean. Look at any recent -- "recent" meaning since the 1990s -- pictures taken of yourself and somebody else, and I'll bet you're doing it.

I mean, if you look at family photos, and the like, from twenty, or fifty, or even more years ago, shots of two or more people had them barely touching. If one person even had his or her arm around someone else's waist or shoulders, it was the exception rather than -- here's that word again! -- the norm.

Maybe we as a society are just closer in a lot of different ways -- and not just the obviously physical closeness when you're posing next to each other -- and, more importantly, are less afraid to show it?

So, one last time: I'm not saying anything negative about the fact that most of "us" -- well, okay, not me personally -- are doing this whenever we pose. I'm just trying to make you feel self-conscious, and mildly uncomfortable, by calling your attention to it. Because that's what I do.

3. And, finally: Using the word "norm" thrice, as I did in #1 above, and once in #2, makes me think of "Norm" on Cheers. So I just had to share this cartoon with you, courtesy of -- and copyrighted to -- Peter David and James Fry:

Thanks for your time.


  1. "Notate"

    I hate in meetings when people use the word "notate" meaning that they are writing a note for later reference. What they mean to say is "noting". "Notation" is the act of writing music.
    I brought this up at several meetings, or after, to the offending person only to be told that I didn't know what I was talking about.
    I called an old college professor to get a ruling and he laughed and said that I was right and that people do that all the time. Apparently it's not just irritating to me.

  2. And factoids are really wrong pieces of information, not "little tidbits of information" as I see it used constantly everywhere!!!


  3. And how about people who say that commentators "commentate" on the news?

    You two should get together with me so we can conversate about stuff like that. Whenever you're ready for such a little meeting, just ax me, okay?

  4. According to my friend Laura, "bi-weekly" now means every two weeks, and twice a week.

  5. Yeah, let's dialogue about all this shall we??? schnoooort

  6. I hate "the optics" of a situation...the news channels are always using it and it drives me nuts.

    Also, I often have pictures of me with my head stuck to someone else's...because I often do the "hold the camera out in front of me and take a self-portrait" thing. You try doing that without ending up with your head glued to the other person! I dare ya!

    Oh, and I hate people who misuse the word "impact." I don't care if it IS common usage now! HATE IT!

    I'm random today.

    Happy Raccoon Week!

  7. Oh and I hate the word "synergy." But I think anyone who knows me even in passing already knows that.

    I hate it with the hatred of a thousand hate-filled suns.

    (No, really...I measured it. One thousand hate-filled suns.)

  8. Exactly one thousand? Hmmm.... Not bloody likely... but I wouldn't wanna call you a liar, or anything like that...


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