At a gain for words

Watching television, it becomes difficult to avoid the overuse and euphemistic display of words.  I confess to enjoying golf (no time out, no coach, no defense, no cheating, no primal end-zone dance) because I can mute the blather of the announcers.  In my own defense, I have neither played nor lifted a club since Gerald R. Ford was president, so please excuse my davenport sloth.

Here is what I find dreadful; a ten second video (any player, take your pick) of, The Konica Minolta Biz Hub Swing Vision Camera.  Isn’t that what we once, simply, called ‘slow motion’

A commercial of a handsome bare-chested  stud is about to apply, Gillette Clinical Odor Shield.  Would that be deodorant

The overhead blimp becomes, The Met Life Airship, Snoopy III, piloted by Captain Bligh and the CBS crew.  I guess he starts the fan.  And really, aren’t the shots above all golf courses, football stadiums, and enclosed sporting venues about the same ?  Here’s a thought; use file footage and retire the captain and the beagle.

The weatherpeople (each station now has four) have a new buzzword, Rip Currents, a harsh, gripping, attention-getting phrase that suggests danger and possible death by drowning.  We used to call it undertow but that doesn’t have the pizzazz when you are reporting from the Severe Weather Monster Storm Dual Doppler Extreme Weather Team.  I suspect the meteorologists all get on the NOAA website and read the same weather report.

The news department is no better.  Brian or Katie report that 12,000 troops are being sent into harm’s way in Afghanistan.  Harm’s way, my @ss.  Why not dispense with daintiness and call it what it is…danger.

And variations of the following are frequent; an estranged mother of three disappeared six weeks ago last seen in the company of her ex-husband (recently released from prison for domestic abuse, chronic alcoholism, and violating restraining orders) while being dragged by her hair from a local saloon.  Area wide law enforcement agencies have yet to unearth her remains. The ex-husband is being considered, (drum roll), a person of interest. A person of interest….egad, when did we begin to tiptoe around the simple description, suspect

Imagine for a moment that the esteemed editor of an RV lifestyle magazine, a raconteur, a journalist, intellectual, and consummate family man……..and you might think of him as an interesting person.  However, a simple interchange of words, should he instead become a person of interest.  Now you might view him in an orange jump-suit, shackled at the waist and ankles, carefully descending the stairs of an aircraft with the U.S. Marshall Service as guides.  Scary thought.

Enough for now. Writing this column can become harmswaygeous.


  1. says

    I think I would enjoy being “a person of interest”. Kind of like “a man of mystery” or “an unnamed source.” There’s a certain panache that comes with notoriety, isn’t there?

  2. brett says

    I would not mind being “the most interesting man in the world” but a “person of interest”, not so much. I can also attest that orange is not Rich’s best color, and he really does not like bracelets or anklets either… Don’t get me started on flying 🙂

  3. insightout says

    Actually, the reference was to the editor of Trailer Life, the pulp tabloid which recently broke the shocking story, reputedly from an unnamed source; “Flying J will no longer provide free dump stations”.

    $10 to unload, or $5 if you have a FJ Frequent Dumping Card.

    Now that stinks.

  4. says

    Funny thing about Flying J … Right around the time they stopped offering free dump stations, I stopped offering them my business. I mean, what’s the point? I can get diesel fuel in lots of other places.

  5. says

    On the importance of choosing the right words… and voice:

    Communication Between Humans and Interactive Media Lab (CHIMe Lab) at Stanford University “focuses on uncovering fundamental relationships between humans and interactive media.” One of the lab’s areas of concentration is interfaces for automobiles.

    Professor Cliff Nass (founder and director of CHIMe Lab) tells how the right type of voice (and choice of words) can control your emotions in this BBC Business Daily program: “The road to the future?”