Sunday, January 2, 2011

Now That's What I Call Progress (I'm just sayin'...)

Sunday Scribblings, a fun prompt site, provided the word 'Progress' today, as their poetic inspiration.

So, dear BFFs, first, let me give you some backstory on the subject of my poem du jour. See, I'd just read a sort of viral kind of article about how certain linguistic academicians and scholars each year make a list of failed words and phrases they believe should be banished from the English language due to their overuse and because they are epically trite.  You could, of course, Google the article, but since I'm all about making things easier for everyone, you can read it right here on this blog. The list for 2011 is:

viral, epic, fail, backstory, Aha moment, Wow factor, BFF, man up, refudiate, Mama Grizzlies, The American People (as used by members of congress to prove his or her Wow factor,) I'm just sayin', Facebook/Google (as a verb) and Your call is very important to us...

Having said all that, I've manned up and penned a triolet on that very topic.

Linguistic Progress

Some linguists want to ban the use
of words and phrases which are trite,
‘though some may find this quite abstruse.
Some linguists want to ban the use.
This 'proscribe' progress, I deduce
may force a bit of (hmmm?) rewrite?
Some linguists want to ban the use
of words and phrases which are trite.



  1. How I wish we had more power to do just that and ban such words but English in its many forms is an evolving language which makes it so useful. Perhaps your small list of awful words and expressions will be junked by their overuse. On the other hand they may become quite acceptable. I hope not.

  2. Jingle - thanks!

    oldegg - I have a feeling that after a while, some of the 'words' will fall from usage to the large degree. However, some words do stick around.

    My 10 year old son says that 'epic' and 'fail' are great words and he has no intention of ending his - ermmm - relationship with them for the present,

    Berowne - thank you! ☼

  3. Oh, man, RJ. This is great. "I'm just sayin'" was popularized by Aaron Sorkin on "West Wing." As for Mama Grizzlies, I refer to the creator of that phrase as "A Grizzly Mama"!

    The expression I would like to get rid of, especially in the customer service field, is, "No problem," which is used in place of "You're welcome." So I guess I'm just as snotty as those writers! And VIRAL? Are they nuts? That will never go out of style... especially in light of H1N1 and other hoaxes causing us to shell out bucks to Big Pharma! Amy

  4. Amy - I hear ya and you're singin' to the choir!

    And speaking of H1N1, you know what's weird/funny - and which is what normally comes from an epic-fail mind like mine?

    The first time I saw H1N1 spelled out, I misread it and thought some kid was doing a shorthand text thing for one's posterior end.

    Um. So, anyway...

  5. I read this too, and agree that some of these words are terrible...of course they will probably remain. The political words usually join the history of the era and sometimes crop up tea party.

  6. I came here for the Magpie but then got stuck in and read this post.

    I don't regret it at all.

    btw, I am one of those linguists. I hate trite. Even ironically.

  7. I'll certainly let you ban trite - but please - bring back adjectives and adverbs from their present, frowned upon state! LOL :)
    I did like your triolet on the subject, thanks.

  8. Ah, those linguists. Fun rhyme pattern!

  9. Jinksy and Tess - Thank you so much! ☼

  10. You poem was wonderful. And although some words and phrases grate on my nerves I would never want them stricken from the lexicon. They are just a barometer of the pop culture of the time and as my daughter informed me "Mom, once you started saying just sayin' I stopped"

    I must say I find your comment section extremely entertaining...H1N1 shorthand? Heh

  11. Rene - pretty funny about your daughter. I think my son and daughter are of a similar mindset. (Ye gads - when did I stop being cool?) hehe

  12. I've been instinctively adverse to words and phrases that are trite.
    I'm older now and see the point
    of biting back with proven bites.
    And, of course, your right:
    the rewrite would not be slight.

    Nice verse. I enjoyed it a lot.

  13. Andreas - any write or rewrite of yours could never be slight!

  14. Some examples of trite would have helped.

  15. Lucy - in what way? I thought I listed (per the list) the trite, overused words. Or do you mean more of that in the poem?

    Or was this a just meant to be a facetious comment?