Language update: phrases
Professor Polistra has been impressed ... or depressed ... this month by a series of trite phrase constructions instead of simple words.
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Prepositions as list-formers
A time-consuming syntactic device. Not new and not necessarily bad. It's always been around, but it's spreading like wildfire lately. Runs counter to the more general modern trend of attaching prepositions to the verb. Never heard in casual speech, and rarely seen in writing. Seems to exist mainly in the carefully rehearsed speech of activists and 'experts' who habitually provide lengthy standardized answers to interviewers.
"...hampered by a lack of courage, of vision, of consistency, of dynamism."
"...hampered by a lack of courage, vision, consistency, and dynamism."
"We have rights in regard to our bodies, in regard to our children, in regard to our families."
"We have rights in regard to our bodies, our children, and our families."
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Abbreviations that don't abbreviate:
Most Latinate and Slavic languages use either /i/ or /e/ for and.
Thus no abbreviation is necessary. The word is already one letter, one keystroke. Despite this, you'll often see & in a brand or company name or in Twitter posts.
Even sillier: 2k15 for this year. Doesn't save any strokes, harder to write by hand, harder to understand. It made some sense to abbreviate 2000 as 2k, and it became common because of the Y2K thing. Makes no sense to abbreviate anything else with k.
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Hit by a bus:
This has become THE ONLY cliche for "die unexpectedly". It's all over the place. It's also statistically stupid. Bus vs pedestrian accidents are rare.
In Spokane cars hit people once per day. Buses hit people once per year. Bus drivers are professionals, and the downward vision from a bus is much better than the downward vision from an SUV or massive pickup.
Seems to connect nicely with the anti-bus bias noted a few days ago.
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Greek Default Crisis:
This exact phrase has become standard. Perhaps because it's correct in two [clap] two [clap] two ways at once.
It's the crisis about an inevitable Greek default on bonds due to** LBO Raider Germany; and it's also the default crisis for Greece. It's been happening over and over for 70 years.
Putting it sort of mathly: It's the Greek DefaultCrisis and it's also the Default GreekCrisis.
The only way to break out of a default default crisis is to change your habits. Listen to Dave Ramsey. Or more appropriately, listen to South Korea. SoKo is geographically similar to Greece, and similarly lacks natural resources. Not much oil, not much farmland. In 1962 SK decided that it was tired of being first a colony of Japan and then a colony of USA STRONG. SK understood that SAVING, NOT BORROWING, is the way out of default defaults. They practically forced SAVINGS with a TWENTY PERCENT interest rate. The people happily responded. The pool of investable money grew quickly, and it was used constructively by government and by the chaebols (Ford-style paternalistic companies.) Result: an economic powerhouse.
** due to
: Also correct two ways.
Labels: Language update