Friday, October 29, 2004

A Funny Thing, Language

George Carlin has always been one of my favorite comedians. Odd that it took a CNN article to figure out why. I am an engineer by training, but the misuse of words is a pet peeve of mine. Perhaps because as an engineer I need things to do their jobs, and arbitrarily assigning meanings to words breaks that. I think it bothers George too:

"Middle-aged" has become "pre-elderly," he writes, suggesting that perhaps "elderly" should become "pre-dead."

Euphemism is Geroge's main target. My biggest gripe is word inflation, using words to describe situations that don't quite make the cut. Things like describing Guantanamo Bay as an "atrocity". The way that "fascist" gets thrown around is particularly irksome.

One last thing: Wal-Mart, please grow a spine.

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