Friday, August 03, 2007

Inexplicable And Massive Irritation Caused By Other People's Language

dear blogosphere,

first, i am writing to express my displeasure with the increasingly common habit of attaching the word 'roots' to some other word in order to give a populist flair to whatever opinion you're spouting. you're not allowed to do that anymore. i am revoking permission to use the word 'netroots' from now until the end of time.

this is an electronic medium and nothing on the internet has any 'roots'. your computer is not a plant. your website is not a damned walnut tree. 'netroots' is a mixed metaphor and your high school english teacher would have given you detention for using it in a paper. yes, i know that i am addressing all of you with an equally made up word, but i've given myself special permission to be a hypocrite. in other words, it's okay for me, but not for thee. get with the program.

second, i hereby revoke permission to use the phrase 'speak truth to power' from everyone everywhere in the world. it's a cheesy ass phrase that makes you look like a wide-eyed political neophyte trying to sound sophisticated. you may, however, use the phrase 'call bullshit' because it is less personally annoying for me to read it as well as infinitely less pretentious.



emily2 said...


all right... now we're on the topic of overused or just irritating phrases, i'd like to make the following words endangered species: heteronormative, hegemony, and patriarchy.

oh and i hate it when culture bloggers use the word "zeitgeist."

i'm weird.

The Pedant said...

I agree on "speak truth to power." Half the time, power isn't listening, and the other half, power knows the truth already but chooses to ignore it.

And zeitgeist is about as overused as "meme."

emily1 said...

yes, i'm sick of all these words save one -- i still have a special place in my heart for 'patriarchy'.

emily2 said...

sorry, but i'm ignorant. i don't even know what "speak truth to power" means. although i suspect it means the little guy standing up, snapping his fingers, and going "NUH-UH, HOMIE DON'T PLAY THAT!"

emily1 said...

yeah. basically, that's it.

The Pedant said...

Evidently, after a short internet search, speaking truth to power was invented by Quakers.

Who were not at all Rage Against the Machine about it, and not just because I'm sure Quaker hymns use more than one melody.