Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Quote of the week: guy in loafers, no socks, on his cell phone

 security area at LAX--very forbidden photo

"Here's the bottom line:  I'm going out on a limb, and if I'm off-base, somebody reel me in."

I go a little nuts when I hear people mixing metaphors.  What bothers me is not only the debasement of language, but also that they clearly have no idea of what the words mean.  This unlovely high-consuming fellow did not at all hear the various activities of accounting, tree-climbing, baseball, and, fishing that his sentence invoked. Why does it matter, after all? Is the world a worse place if people talk by signs and signifiers instead of words and well-matched images? Yes, it is. I believe it is a much worse place. This kind of McLanguage encourages people not to see what is in front of them, not to hear what others mean, and to be so estranged from their own actual experience that they require increasingly powerful doses (medicate? yes, that's what I mean) of pseudo-flavors, of entertainment made of pseudo-violence and -sex and -adventure of a lifetime  to feel anything at all. Rage lets you feel alive, paranoia lets you blame the other and lets you feel momentarily pure instead of complicated and helpless, sentimentality gives you the illusion of caring and connection. O metaphor police, Join me in this cause, and take note of what other people say. You don't have to bring the mangled (injured and deformed living creature? yes) metaphors to their attention. It is enough if you think out the problem, perhaps revising the sentence silently. Do this enough times, and the people around you will start to speak (and think) more clearly. This also works if you count the number of times someone uses "like" gratuitously. Amazing, and true.