Trash words and garbage grammar

Trash words

The monarch of trash words is “impact,” which reduces effect, affect, impression, influence, and more into one cartoonish, caveman word. Impact doesn’t just shrink the speaker’s option for nouns. Thanks to an amalgam of ignorance and pretension, we have “impactful” instead of important or influential. We have impacting, impactfulization, and even — as God is my witness– “impactfulizationality.” (OK, I made that last one up. But for just a moment you thought it was real.)

A metropolitan weekly quoted a source as saying, “It is very impacting on your emotional health, your state of mind, when you can’t even leave your boat for fear that it’s going to be taken and crushed.” A recent story on extreme weather included the following statement. “(T)he temperatures are expected to be more intense and impactful…” In most cases, “impact” is not incomprehensible, it’s just less useful than the words it replaces. In this case, there is literally no telling what the word was supposed to mean.

Other examples of trash words include using “blog” for “post,” the equivalent of conflating library and book or restaurant and meal. Saying, “We should write a blog about that” is like saying “I watched a movie theatre about World War II. Others include “weather event” instead of storm and “superfood,” a term concocted by the United Fruit company to sell bananas, for any number of phrases, such as “healthy food” or “food.”

To increase vocabulary is to work for the ability to understand the world in a deeper fashion. Uncritically accepting trash words contributes to the creation of a language that does not describe reality, something out of Orwell’s 1984, or out of the last presidential administration.

Published by Curt

I am a poet and journalist and so on amber so forth in rows magnet.

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